Crude oil prices up in Asian trade

PTI Singapore | Updated on November 25, 2017

Oil prices rose in Asia today, but analysts said that the gains were capped following weakened demand caused by refinery shutdowns and easing concerns about armed conflicts around the world.

US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for September delivery rose five cents to $97.93, while Brent crude for September delivery gained 17 cents to $105.01 in late-morning trade.

Singapore’s United Overseas Bank said that the oil prices were pressured by multiple factors “including logistical issues in pipeline and refinery systems that weakened demand and that there is ample global supply despite the troubles in Iraq, Libya and Eastern Europe’’.

Refinery outages

Reports of refinery outages in the US last week have caused concern that crude inventories will build at the Cushing, Oklahoma oil-trading hub, with the supply glut dampening prices.

Oil prices have seen a build in risk premium in recent months over armed insurgencies in crude producers Iraq and Libya, as well as Ukraine, a key conduit for Russian energy exports to Europe.

Geopolitical crises

But a market awash with supplies has since eased worries that disruptions caused by these geopolitical crises will have any significant impact on prices.

Desmond Chua, market analyst at CMC Markets in Singapore, said investors are also digesting a lacklustre US jobs report released on Friday.

US jobs report

The Commerce Department reported that the US economy, the world’s biggest, generated 209,000 new jobs in July down from June but maintaining a solid 200,000-plus monthly streak since February.

The unemployment rate rose 0.1 percentage point to 6.2 per cent.

“Despite the disappointing payrolls figures, it was also the sixth consecutive month of the economy adding more than 200,000 jobs to the economy,” Chua said.

“This is widely considered to be healthy labour growth by economists,” he added.

Published on August 04, 2014

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