Oil prices mixed in Asian trade

The China Post - - MARKETS -

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.

An­a­lysts

said

the

decline

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.

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