Oil prices down in Asian trade due to Greek debt jit­ters

The China Post - - MARKETS -

Oil prices fell in Asia Fri­day on a stronger U.S. dollar as traders grew con­cerned about Greece’s trou­bled debt ne­go­ti­a­tions, while the In­ter­na­tional En­ergy Agency’s pre­dic­tion of an end to the re­cent surge in de­mand added down­ward pres­sure.

U.S. bench­mark West Texas In­ter­me­di­ate for July de­liv­ery fell 45 cents to US$60.32 while Brent crude for July eased 39 cents to US$64.72 in af­ter­noon trade.

Oil prices turned “bear­ish af­ter the dollar’s rally against the euro on Greek debt wor­ries weighed on de­mand for com­modi­ties,” Sin­ga­pore’s United Over­seas Bank said in a mar­ket com­men­tary.

The euro fell to US$1.1255 in Asia from US$1.1260 in New York Thurs­day and US$1.1323 on Wed­nes­day with mar­kets on edge about trou­bled ne­go­ti­a­tions be­tween Athens and its cred­i­tors.

The stronger green­back makes crude more ex­pen­sive for buy­ers us­ing weaker cur­ren­cies.

Also, the Paris-based IEA said there were “doubts” that some rea­sons for a re­cent pickup in de­mand — such as an ex­cep­tion­ally cold Euro­pean win­ter that lifted heat­ing de­mand — would be re­peated.

It also pointed to “signs of per- sis­tent over­sup­ply” in the mar­ket in light of still-high U.S. crude out­put and record pro­duc­tion from key OPEC mem­bers.

How­ever, in its monthly re­port on the oil mar­ket, the IEA lifted its 2015 de­mand fore­cast to 94 mil­lion bar­rels a day, 300,000 more than the pre­vi­ous level.

The in­creased fore­cast came af­ter world oil de­mand soared in the first three months of 2015.

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