Singapore: Oil prices fell in Asia on Thursday as investors took profits ahead of a high-profile weekend meeting in Saudi Arabia between oil producers and consumer nations, dealers said.
New York’s main oil futures contract, light sweet crude for July delivery, fell 61 cents to $136.07 a barrel after a jump of $2.67 to a close of $136.68 Wednesday at the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Brent North Sea crude for August delivery eased 54 cents to $135.90 per barrel after a gain of $2.72 to $136.44 Wednesday in London.
“We see a little bit of profit-taking so far in Asia today,” said Dave Ernsberger, Asia director of global energy information provider Platts.
“There are at least some people in Asia who think there is good value in selling at these prices.”
Global finance officials fear runaway oil prices -- which surged to almost $140 on Monday before dropping back -- pose a threat to world economic growth as higher inflation leads central banks to raise interest rates.
Opec’s top producer Saudi Arabia has called an unusual meeting this Sunday in Jeddah in response to the record-breaking run up in oil prices, which have roughly doubled over the past year.
Ahead of the summit, there has been mounting speculation about a fresh output hike from Saudi Arabia, the biggest producer in the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) cartel.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Sunday that Saudi Arabia told him it would increase its oil output by 200,000 barrels per day (bpd) in July.
The desert kingdom currently produces 9.45 million bpd after announcing an increase of 300,000 bpd last month following a visit by US President George W. Bush.