Singapore: Oil prices fell in Asian trade today on profit-taking even as key producer Iran expressed opposition to any hikes in OPEC crude output, dealers said.
At 10:49 am (local time), New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for September delivery, was down 35 cents to $76.67 a barrel from $77.02 in late US trades Friday.
Brent North Sea crude for September eased 41 cents to 75.85 dollars.
“Given such a rally last week, it’s not surprising we have a reversal this morning due to profit-taking,” said Victor Shum, an analyst with energy consultancy Purvin and Gertz in Singapore.
New York prices jumped $2.07 Friday after stronger-than-expected US economic growth data renewed concerns about supply in the face of anticipated demand from the world’s biggest economy.
Amid market speculation the OPEC cartel could raise production to stem rising prices, Iran on 29 July expressed opposition to any OPEC hike in output.
Oil Minister Kazem Vaziri Hamaneh said current high prices were due to political concerns and a shortage of petrol (gasoline) in the United States during the summer season when many people take to the highways for holiday.
“The recent fluctuation in the oil markets emanates from political and geopolitical reasons,” Hamaneh said.
“In the current circumstances, an increase in oil production will not have any effect on oil prices.
“Therefore there is no reason for an OPEC production increase,” he said, describing global production and storage of crude as “high”.