Brent crude price slips to $102.6

Oil-world 1…as dealers try to gauge demand from US data

28 August 2014, Singapore –
Following a neutral weekly stockpiles report, dealers look ahead to recent US economic data for clues about the demand in the world’s top crude consumer as oil prices moved down in Asia

US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for October delivery eased 1 cent to USD 93.87 while Brent crude slipped 7 cents to USD 102.65 in mid-morning trade.

Singapore’s United Overseas Bank said “oil prices were little changed” as investors weighed a 2.1 million barrel fall in overall US crude reserves, but with a 500,000 barrel increase at the key Cushing, Oklahoma depot.

The US Energy Department’s weekly report released on Wednesday also showed a 0.4 per cent increase in total petroleum inventories, including distillates and gasoline.

Desmond Chua, market analyst at CMC Markets in Singapore, said investors “remain on the sidelines awaiting key US economic data.”

Data on initial jobless claims for the week to August 23 as well as pending home sales figures for July will be released later today, along with revised US gross domestic product figures for the second quarter.”Aside from the second reading of GDP data — which is expected to notch slightly lower, from 4.0 per cent to 3.9 per cent – the labour and housing sectors are expected to continue to show signs of growth,” Chua said.

The simmering conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East are continuing to support oil prices, with little sign that they will either escalate further or be resolved imminently.

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