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Markets

Brent crude back above $100 in Asian trade

SINGAPORE: Brent crude bounced back above $100 in Asian trade Wednesday as traders went bargain-hunting after oil prices
05 Oct 2011

oilSINGAPORE: Brent crude bounced back above $100 in Asian trade Wednesday as traders went bargain-hunting after oil prices fell sharply overnight amid forecasts of a US stockpile drop, analysts said.

New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) light sweet crude for delivery in November, was up $1.91 to $77.58 per barrel.

Brent North Sea crude for November delivery gained $1.67 to $101.46.

Oil markets were buoyed by traders looking for bargains after WTI crude sank to its lowest level in a year and Brent crude tumbled below $100 per barrel in late US trade Tuesday, analysts said.

Brent crude had not fallen below the $100-mark since early February this year.

"Bargain hunters have come to the market and this will provide necessary support to the markets," said Ker Chung Yang, commodity analyst for Phillip Futures in Singapore.

He added that crude prices were also given a slight boost from forecasts released by the American Petroleum Institute on Tuesday of a 3.1 million drawdown in crude inventories in the world's largest oil consumer.

Such drawdowns indicate stronger energy demand and are supportive of prices.

Crude markets have been pummelled recently by the ongoing eurozone debt impasse as well as a moribund US economy, with a glum Congress presentation by Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke on Tuesday not helping matters much.

Bernanke told legislators their budget-cutting fervour could threaten an already "faltering" recovery.

Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2011