Oil prices rebounded on bargain-hunting in Asia today following sharp losses in the previous session that were stoked by easing West Asian supply concerns, analysts said.
US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude for August delivery rose 36 cents to $100.32, while Brent crude for August was up 15 cents at $106.17 in late-morning trade.
WTI crude fell 95 cents in New York to $99.96, the first time it closed below the $100 mark since May 9, while Brent fell 96 cents in London to hit its lowest level since April 7.
Singapore’s United Overseas Bank said that the prices remained under pressure “as investors eased up on worries about Iraq supply disruptions while there were indications that Libya’s oil production is returning’’.
Prospects of a revival in Libya crude oil exports to a global market already flush with supply also capped the prices, as investors brushed aside reports of fresh violence in the North African state on Sunday.
Libya’s interim Prime Minister Abdullah Al-Thani had declared this month that authorities had regained control of two export terminals blockaded by rebels demanding autonomy in the country’s eastern region.
The ports at Ras Lanuf and Al-Sidra could add about 500,000 barrels of crude per day to global energy markets, analysts say.
US supply report
Dealers are also eyeing the latest US supply report to be published later today for clues about demand in the world’s top crude consumer in the middle of the summer driving season.
Crude reserves are expected to have fallen 2.6 million barrels in the week to July 11, according to analysts polled by the Wall Street Journal.
A decline in inventories typically indicates strong demand, sending prices higher.
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