Oil prices down in Asian trade

September 04, 2014 - 9:22:16 am

SINGAPORE: Oil prices slipped in Asian trade Thursday as dealers squared their positions after a rally spurred in part by hopes of a resolution to the Ukraine conflict.

US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for October delivery fell 40 cents to $95.14 while Brent crude for October eased 55 cents to $102.22 in late-morning trade.

"We are seeing a continuation of a trend where there is a reversal in Asia-Pacific trading of certain impulse moves in the prior trading session," Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets in Sydney, told AFP.

WTI gained $2.66 in New York trade Wednesday, recovering from a more than $3 dollar drop the prior day, as Russian President Vladimir Putin unveiled a peace plan for Ukraine to end the months-long conflict that has taken some 2,600 lives.

Brent jumped $2.43 in London trade to $102.77, coming back from a fall Tuesday to its lowest level since May 2013.

The rally on Wednesday was partly due to "expectations of a boost in demand" after the eventual resolution of the Ukraine conflict, McCarthy said.

Analysts said the market spotlight will next be on the meeting of the European Central Bank later Thursday to decide if and how to strike against deflation in the 18-member eurozone.

In the United States, the focus will be on the latest official petroleum stockpiles report to be released later Thursday, a day later than usual owing to the Labor Day holiday on Monday.

Analysts polled by the Wall Street Journal estimate that crude reserves in the world's top oil consumer fell by 1.1 million barrels on average in the week ended August 29.

Gasoline stockpiles are expected have fallen 1.4 million barrels, while stocks of distillates, including heating oil and diesel, are expected to decrease by 200,000 barrels.  (AFP)

 

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