Oil prices up ahead of US stock­piles re­port


Oil prices rose in Asia Wed­nes­day as deal­ers pre­dicted the latest US crude stock­piles and pro­duc­tion data will point to­wards up­beat de­mand in the world s top crude con­sumer, an­a­lysts said.

US bench­mark West Texas In­ter­me­di­ate for Septem­ber de­liv­ery gained 31 cents to $46.05 while Brent crude for Septem­ber was up 31 cents to $50.30 in late-morn­ing trade.

Prices had skid­ded for three con­sec­u­tive ses­sions be­fore ris­ing mod­estly on Tues­day ahead of the US Energy In­for­ma­tion Ad­min­is­tra­tion s re­lease of the latest US stock­piles fig­ures later Wed­nes­day. "We should be see­ing drops to US crude pro­duc­tion. This should help sup­port the mar­ket in the longer run," said Daniel Ang, in­vest­ment an­a­lyst at Phillip Fu­tures in Sin­ga­pore.

Last week s data showed crude in­ven­to­ries slid to 459.7 mil­lion bar­rels in the week to July 24, the low­est level since March. Pro­duc­tion stood at 9.41 mil­lion bar­rels a day dur­ing the same pe­riod, the slow­est pace in more than two months.

A dip in US crude in­ven­to­ries typ­i­cally in­di­cates strong de­mand in the coun­try, the world s top crude con­sumer and sec­ond largest energy con­sumer af­ter China. Deal­ers have been hop­ing an uptick in US de­mand, cou­pled with a slow­down in out­put, could whit­tle down the huge global sup­plies that were a key rea­son for the col­lapse in prices from around $120 in June last year.

Traders are also look­ing ahead to Fri­day s US jobs re­port for July, which could lift the dol­lar if traders con­clude the Fed­eral Re­serve is likely to raise in­ter­est rates more quickly. A strong green­back dis­cour­ages crude pur­chases out­side the US be­cause oil is priced in dol­lars.

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