Oil prices ease off in Asia af­ter hit­ting new highs

Pakistan Observer - - ECONOMY WATCH -

SIN­GA­PORE— Oil prices eased slightly in Asia Fri­day af­ter hit­ting a se­ries of new highs this week, bol­stered by a weak dol­lar. The US Fed­eral Re­serve held in­ter­est rates un­changed af­ter its pol­icy meet­ing on Wed­nes­day, sig­nalling it was in no hurry to raise rates. On Thurs­day, the dol­lar fell about 3.0 per­cent against the Ja­panese yen af­ter the Bank of Japan dis­ap­pointed mar­kets by not of­fer­ing ad­di­tional stim­u­lus mea­sures for the strug­gling econ­omy.

At about 0315 GMT, US bench­mark West Texas In­ter­me­di­ate for June de­liv­ery was seven cents down at $ 45.96 while Brent North Sea for June de­liv­ery was eight cents lower at $ 48.06. On Thurs­day, Brent rose to $ 48.14 a bar­rel, its high­est price since Novem­ber, while WTI traded at $ 46.03 a bar­rel, its lofti­est mark this year. The slight claw­back dur­ing early Asian trad­ing hours on Fri­day could be put to profit tak­ing and nor­mal mar­ket fluc­tu­a­tions, said Alex Wi­jaya, a se­nior sales trader with CMC Mar­kets in Sin­ga­pore. “It used to be that any move from Saudi Ara­bia could con­trol the mar­ket but in­creas­ingly, this is less so and we’re see­ing moves from Amer­ica, China and even Iran af­fect­ing the mar­ket,” he told AFP.— AFP

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