Oil prices up ahead of US stockpiles report
Oil prices rose in Asia Wednesday as dealers predicted that the latest U.S. crude stockpiles and production data will point towards upbeat demand in the world’s top crude consumer, analysts said.
U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate for September delivery gained 45 cents to US$46.19 while Brent crude for September was up 48 cents to US$50.47 in afternoon trade. Prices had skidded for three consecutive sessions before rising modestly on Tuesday ahead of the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s release of the latest U.S. stockpiles figures later Wednesday.
“We should be seeing drops to U.S. crude production. This should help support the market in the longer run,” said Daniel Ang, investment analyst at Phillip Futures in Singapore.
Last week’s data showed crude inventories slid to 459.7 million barrels in the week to July 24, the lowest level since March. Production stood at 9.41 million barrels a day during the same period, the slowest pace in more than two months.
A dip in U.S. crude inventories typically indicates strong demand in the country, the world’s top crude consumer and second largest energy consumer after China.