Oil prices ex­pe­ri­ence slight decline in Asia trade

The China Post - - BUSINESS INDEX & -

Oil prices edged lower in Asia Wed­nes­day on ex­pec­ta­tions the lat­est U.S. stock­piles re­port will show a fur­ther surge in crude re­serves, wors­en­ing a global sup­ply glut, an­a­lysts said.

U.S. bench­mark West Texas In­ter­me­di­ate fell 15 cents to US$56.91 while Brent crude slipped 16 cents to US$64.48 in af­ter­noon trade.

The U.S. Depart­ment of En­ergy (DOE) will re­lease its weekly re­port later Wed­nes­day.

Crude re­serves are ex­pected to have in­creased by 2.9 mil­lion bar- rels in the week to April 24, ac­cord­ing to a Bloomberg News sur­vey of an­a­lysts.

“The mar­ket is broadly wait­ing on the U.S. in­ven­to­ries num­bers as the weekly re­port has been a key drive to changes in crude prices,” Ric Spooner, chief mar­ket an­a­lyst with CMC Mar­kets in Syd­ney, told AFP.

In­ven­to­ries have been ex­pand­ing for the past 15 weeks and are cur­rently at the high­est level on record, con­tribut­ing to a global glut that has been the main fac­tor for a price col­lapse of more than 50 per­cent be­tween June and Jan­uary.

Spooner said in­vestors will be closely watch­ing the state of U.S. crude pro­duc­tion, which is also in­cluded in the DOE’s weekly re­port.

U.S. out­put has dipped slightly in three of the past four weeks, but still hov­ers around 9 mil­lion bar­rels a day.

Deal­ers are hop­ing a slow­down in U.S. shale pro­duc­tion could al­le­vi­ate the global over­sup­ply.

“If the pro­duc­tion num­bers con­tinue to slip or plateau, the mar­ket will be more op­ti­mistic over the com­ing days,” Spooner said.

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