Crude oil prices higher in Asian trade

The China Post - - BUSINESS INDEX & -

Crude prices rose fur­ther in Asia Tues­day on fore­casts U.S. shale oil pro­duc­tion will decline and hopes the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment will roll out a stim­u­lus pack­age for the slow­ing econ­omy.

A drop in U.S. pro­duc­tion is ex­pected to help ease the sup­ply glut that has sent oil prices col­laps­ing since June last year, while a stim­u­lus pack­age could boost de­mand in China, the world’s big­gest en­ergy user, an­a­lysts said.

U.S. bench­mark West Texas In­ter­me­di­ate for May de­liv­ery gained 45 cents to US$52.36 while Brent crude for May rose 51 US$58.44 in mid­day trade.

The U.S. En­ergy In­for­ma­tion Ad­min­is­tra­tion said Mon­day shale oil out­put could decline in May, which Bloomberg News said was the first time the agency had pro­jected a drop since it be­gan is­su­ing a monthly drilling pro­duc­tiv­ity re­port in 2013.

U.S. crude stock­piles, a closely watched barom­e­ter of de­mand in the world’s top oil con­sum­ing na­tion, are cur­rently at record lev­els and Len­nox said that he ex­pects it to fur­ther in­crease.

Mean­while, a decline in China’s

cents

to trade data in March has stoked ex­pec­ta­tions of a stim­u­lus pack­age to boost the slow­ing econ­omy.

Ex­ports fell an un­ex­pected 15.0 per­cent year-on-year in March to US$144.57 bil­lion, the Gen­eral Ad­min­is­tra­tion of Cus­toms said, while im­ports tum­bled 12.7 per­cent to US$141.49 bil­lion.

In its lat­est fore­casts for the re­gion re­leased Mon­day, the World Bank said China’s econ­omy should ex­pand by 7.1 per­cent in 2015, slower than the 7.2 per­cent rate pro­jected in Oc­to­ber and down from last year’s 7.4 per­cent growth.

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