Singapore: World oil prices were higher in Asian trade Wednesday ahead of the release of the US government’s weekly energy stockpiles report, dealers said.
In morning trade, New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in May rose 63 cents to $101.85 per barrel. The contract closed up 36 cents at $101.22 during floor trading on Tuesday at the New York Mercantile Exchange.
London’s Brent North Sea crude for May delivery climbed 46 cents to $101.06 a barrel, after settling at $100.60 on Tuesday.
Underlying worries over US energy demand remain despite the rebound in oil prices after significant falls in recent sessions, dealers said.
“Prices in the oil complex have fallen sharply over the last 10 days... momentum is bearish for the first time in seven weeks,” commodity analysts from Societe Generale said in a report.
The US government’s energy report, an indicator of demand in the world’s biggest oil user, due out later Wednesday may spring a surprise, dealers said.
“There could always be a surprise in the stockpiles report, and the market is focusing on that now,” said Tony Nunan, of Mitsubishi Corp’s international petroleum business in Tokyo.
Analysts from Societe Generale project US crude reserves to show a rise of 1.8 million barrels last week when the US government’s Energy Information Administration releases its report.
New York crude hit a record trading high of $111.80 on 17 March while Brent scored a historic peak of $108.02 earlier this month as the dollar dived against the euro.
The weak dollar boosts demand for dollar-priced commodities because it makes them more affordable for buyers using stronger currencies.