Oil was lower in Asia today with traders taking profit after prices capped three consecutive days of rallies by surging to a 12-week high overnight, analysts said.

New York’s main contract, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) light sweet crude for delivery in September, was down 33 cents to $93.34 a barrel and Brent North Sea crude for September delivery dipped 40 cents to $111.60.

Crude markets were retreating after “oil prices jumped to a 12-week peak on Tuesday” with Brent and WTI prices “posting their highest settlements since May 15”, Phillip Futures said in a report.

“Falling North Sea output, support for more bond-buying by the US Federal Reserve and Middle East tensions lifted crude futures to a third straight higher settlement” on Tuesday, the report added.

Crude output in the North Sea is set to fall to a record low in September due to oilfield maintenance, media reports said, while Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s pledge on Tuesday to crush rebel forces exacerbated tensions in West Asia.

In the US, Boston Federal Reserve Bank President Eric Rosengren’s call for the Fed to start buying Treasury and mortgage-backed securities revived hopes of stimulus from the central bank of the world’s largest oil consumer.

(This article was published on August 8, 2012)
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