Crude oil prices slip as US dollar strengthens

PTI Singapore | Updated on August 13, 2013

Crude oil prices slipped in Asian trade today on a stronger dollar as investors awaited US data that could hasten the Federal Reserve’s decision to taper its vast stimulus programme, analysts said.

New York’s main contract, West Texas Intermediate for delivery in September, was down one cent at $ 106.10 a barrel in afternoon trade, and Brent North Sea crude for September shed one cent to $108.96.

“At the moment I see dollar strength weighing on crude oil prices,” Lee Chen Hoay, investment analyst at Phillip Futures in Singapore, told AFP.

The dollar strengthened “on anticipation that US economic data this week will prompt the Federal Reserve to taper its monetary stimulus programme sooner rather than later,” Lee said.

The dollar was changing hands at 97.36 yen in the afternoon, up from 96.90 yen in New York yesterday.

A stronger greenback makes dollar-priced oil more expensive for buyers using weaker currencies, denting demand and pushing prices lower.

Analysts expect this week’s stream of US economic data to revive the debate on the Fed potentially scaling back its $85 billion-a-month bond buying programme.

US retail sales data is due to be released later today.

There will also be releases later in the week on housing starts, US industrial production and inflation.

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Published on August 13, 2013
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