Oil up in Asian trade after rise in US equities
Last Updated : 26 May 2011
Oil rose in Asian trade on Thursday, tracking gains in US equities markets, analysts said, while dealers seemed to ignore data showing a surge in stockpiles.
New York's main contract, light sweet crude for July delivery, gained 36 cents to USD 101.68 a barrel, while Brent North Sea crude for the same month was up 30 cents to USD 115.23.
"The WTI was USD 1.73 higher (in New York late Wednesday), settling at USD 101.32, which was a two-week high because the equity market was high," said Shailaja Nair, a Singapore-based Platts analyst.
US stocks posted modest gains on Wednesday, snapping a three-day losing streak, despite disappointing manufacturing data from the US, the world's largest economy and number one oil consumer.
A bearish report from the Department of Energy (DoE) on Wednesday that showed US crude stocks rose 600,000 barrels in the week to 20th May appeared to have a muted impact on sentiment.
The weekly DoE report also said US gasoline inventories jumped 3.8 million barrels in contrast to predictions of a drop.
Gasoline figures are being closely watched ahead of the peak-demand US driving season in the starting next week, when many Americans begin hitting the road for their summer holidays.
Some analysts think higher prices have forced consumers to cut their fuel use.
Natixis analyst Nic Brown pointed out that it was the fourth week in a row of weak US demand for oil products with demand off four percent from a year earlier. (ddi news)