Oil prices rose in subdued Asian trade on Thursday as investors anticipated upbeat US stockpiles data, as investors become more positive about the world’s biggest economy, analysts said.
The New York’s main contract, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for delivery in February, rose 22 cents to $ 98.64 in mid-morning trade, while Brent North Sea for February rose 17 cents to $ 110.97.
Sanjeev Gupta, director of oil and gas practice in Asia-Pacific consultancy EY, said prices were boosted by the “signs of recovery in the U.S. economy.”
Kelly Teoh, market strategist with IG Markets in Singapore, said investors upbeat ahead to the release of data from the U.S. stockpile on Friday with thin trade in Asia, due to the closing of the Japanese financial markets.
The report, released Wednesday usually has been postponed due to New Year’s Day holiday.
Analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires, the average forecast is that crude oil supplies fell 2.2 million barrels last week.
“Everyone are looking at the inventory … I do not think in terms of fundamentals, nothing has changed so the movement is very tenuous,” Teoh told AFP.
Investors are also monitoring the situation in the oil producer after Iran news agency IRNA on Wednesdays said Tehran experts and the world powers have chosen January 20 to start implementing an agreement on the nuclear program.
Iran and the so-called P5 +1 nations – United States, Britain, France, Russia and China, plus Germany – have been holding technical talks on implementing an agreement reached in November on Iran’s controversial nuclear ambitions.
Crude oil exports from Tehran has halved to 1.2 million barrels a day the crippling international sanctions imposed on him for supposedly pursuing a covert nuclear weapons capability along with its civilian program.
Reported Source: Business Standard PTI News