Singapore, 3 October World oil prices gained in Asian trade today in a technical rebound before the latest report on United States energy stockpiles, dealers said.
New York’s main futures contract, light sweet crude for delivery in November, was 22 cents higher at $80.27 per barrel in late morning trade.
The contract had eased slightly in New York to $80.05 a barrel in late trades yesterday.
Brent North Sea crude for November delivery eased a penny to $77.37 a barrel.
Dariusz Kowalczyk, senior investment strategist at CFC Seymour in Hong Kong, said the New York contract was undergoing a technical rebound before an expected fall below the 80-dollar level today.
Kowalczyk said the market would be closely watching the movement of the US dollar as well as the weekly US energy inventories report due out today.
Analysts’ consensus forecast was for a decline of 550,000 barrels in crude stocks but Kowalczyk disagreed. He said he expected “another big decline” in refinery capacity utilisation which should lead to a rise in crude inventories and a lowering of prices.
Gains in the dollar would also be a negative factor for crude, he said, as a stronger US unit makes dollar-denominated commodities, like crude oil, more expensive.
The euro was at 1.4172 against the dollar in morning trade, down from the record high of 1.4283 dollars on 1 October.
After soaring to record highs in late September, when the New York contract hit 84.10 dollars and Brent reached $81.05, oil prices have lost nearly four dollars.