Oil prices climb in Asia; con­cerns of crude sup­ply glut

The China Post - - BUSINESS INDEX & -

Oil prices climbed in Asia Thurs­day but lin­ger­ing wor­ries over the crude sup­ply glut held down gains sparked by stronger U.S. de­mand and a fall­ing U.S. dol­lar, an­a­lysts said.

U.S. bench­mark West Texas In­ter­me­di­ate for Septem­ber de­liv­ery turned higher in af­ter­noon trade, ris­ing 10 U.S. cents to US$43.40. Brent crude for Septem­ber gained 15 U.S. cents to US$49.81.

Prices had moved off six-year lows on Wed­nes­day on news that U.S. crude sup- plies fell — a sign of stronger de­mand in the world’s top oil con­sumer — and the U.S. dol­lar de­clined.

The U.S. Depart­ment of Energy Wed­nes­day said the es­ti­mated amount of crude oil in the coun­try’s com­mer­cial stor­age tanks tum­bled 1.7 mil­lion bar­rels to 453.6 mil­lion bar­rels in the week end­ing Aug. 7.

The re­port also said U.S. do­mes­tic oil pro­duc­tion fell 70,000 bar­rels a day to about 9.4 mil­lion bar­rels, which is pos­i­tive for oil prices in an over­sup­plied mar­ket.

The U.S. dol­lar took a hit af­ter main­land China’s sur­prise move to de­value the yuan, with an­a­lysts say­ing this could de­lay plans by the U.S. cen­tral bank to raise in­ter­est rates, a move pre­vi­ously ex­pected as early as Septem­ber.

A weaker U.S. cur­rency makes dol­larpriced oil cheaper for hold­ers of other units, perk­ing up de­mand and sup­port­ing prices.

But an­a­lysts said oil prices were be­ing weighed down by con­tin­ued con­cerns over a glut in the world crude mar­ket.

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