Oil prices fell in Asia due to glut concerns | mb.com.ph | Philippine News
Home  » Business

Oil prices fell in Asia due to glut concerns

Singapore – Crude oil prices fell in Asia trade Thursday as the market shifted attention back to oversupply concerns, after prices were briefly supported by speculation that large producers may be inching closer to a collective cut.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light, sweet crude futures for delivery in March traded at $31.98 a barrel at 0259 GMT, down $0.32 in the Globex electronic session. March Brent crude on London’s ICE Futures exchange fell $0.32 to $32.78 a barrel.

Oil prices rose overnight, buoyed by news that Russia and Saudi Arabia may consider discussing a cut in current output. However, a Kremlin spokesman later said Russian oil officials hold frequent talks with their foreign counterparts, but it was too early to talk about any coordinated actions, state news agencies reported.

“At this stage, the oil market is extremely information and data sensitive, so any whiff of positive news will move the market. But the fact is, the fundamentals remain extremely weak,” said Gao Jian, an energy analyst at SCI International.

Prices faltered in the Asian trading day as traders digested the US energy department’s report that crude stockpiles in the country grew by 8.4 million barrels in the week ended Jan. 22.

While many analysts attribute the jump to seasonal maintenance at refineries rather than shrinking global demand, the data nevertheless points to a greater imbalance between supply and demand. The latest growth puts total US crude inventories at 494.9 million barrels, the highest level in eight years.