Oil prices slide down in Asian trade

The China Post - - BUSINESS INDEX & -

Oil prices fell in Asia on Wed­nes­day af­ter a Saudi- led coali­tion de­clared an end to four weeks of air strikes in Ye­men and ahead of a key U.S. sup­ply re­port.

Amer­i­can bench­mark West Texas In­ter­me­di­ate fell 63 cents to US$55.98 while Brent crude fell 52 cents to US$61.56 in af­ter­noon trade.

An­a­lysts said deal­ers were sit­ting on the side­lines ahead of the re­lease later Wed­nes­day of the of­fi­cial U.S. stock­piles re­port.

The Depart­ment of En­ergy is ex­pected to re­port that sup­plies rose 3.2 mil­lion bar­rels in the week to April 17, ac­cord­ing to a Bloomberg News sur­vey of an­a­lysts.

Gains in U.S. petroleum re­serves typ­i­cally in­di­cates slack de­mand in the world’s top crude con­sumer, push­ing global prices down.

To­tal re­serves in the U.S. are cur­rently at a 85-year-high, con­tribut­ing to a global sup­ply glut that was the main fac­tor for the com­mod­ity’s col­lapse of more than 50 per­cent be­tween June and Jan­uary.

Len­nox said the end of Saudiled mil­i­tary strikes against rebels in Ye­men on Tues­day have put a lid on prices amid eas­ing fears of the un­rest spread­ing to other parts of the crude-rich Mid­dle East.

Although Ye­men is not a par­tic­u­larly im­por­tant oil pro­ducer, mar­ket watch­ers have been wor­ried about the im­pact of the tur­moil on the oil-rich re­gion, no­tably in Iran, which is sus­pected of sup­port­ing the re­bel­lion.

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