Oil prices mixed in Asian trade
Oil prices were mixed in Asia Thursday, retaining support from a surprisingly upbeat U.S. supply report a day earlier, analysts said.
American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for May delivery gained six U.S. cents to US$56.45 while Brent crude for June slipped 14 U.S. cents to US$63.18 in afternoon trade.
On Wednesday WTI jumped US$3.10 to US$ 56.39, its highest closing price since Dec. 23, while Brent crude for May shot up US$1.89 to US$60.32 on its last day of trading.
Analysts said prices were supported by the official U. S. stockpiles report Wednesday.
The U.S. Department of Energy said crude inventories rose by 1.29 million barrels in the week to April 10, much lower than the surge expected by analysts.
Rises in U. S. reserves are indicative of slack demand in the world’s top crude consumer.
The Energy Department also said American oil production fell by 20,000 barrels, or 0.2 percent, to 9.38 million barrels per day, in the week ending April 10.
should help ease the global crude oversupply, which led to a collapse in prices of more than 50 percent between June and January.
The Paris- based International Energy Agency (IEA) on Wednesday cut its supply forecast for non-OPEC countries, citing a lower outlook for U. S. and Canadian output and the “worsening conflict” in Yemen.
The agency also bumped up by 90,000 barrels per day its forecast for 2015 petroleum demand.
The IEA now expects 2015 consumption of 93.6 million barrels per day, up 1.1 million barrels per day for the year.