January 28, 2009 1:10:01 pm
Oil prices rose in Asian trade on Wednesday ahead of the US Department of Energy’s weekly stockpiles report.
New York’s main futures contract,light sweet crude for delivery in March,rose 67 cents to USD 42.25 a barrel.
Brent North Sea crude for March rose 45 cents to USD 44.18.
The bounce in prices came because Asian traders were “not as pessimistic” as their Western counterparts about the report on crude and other energy product inventories,said Dave Ernsberger,Asia senior editorial director for global energy information provider Platts.
The report was to be released later on Wednesday.
Stockpiles were expected to increase but not as much as traders in the United States expected,Ernsberger said.
New York oil prices plunged by more than four dollars on Tuesday in what an analyst said may have been a reaction to the forecast rise in crude inventories.
“We think that the expectation of further growth in crude inventories will weigh on prices at least through Wednesday,” MF Global’s Mike Fitzpatrick said.
The price drop also coincided with an unexpected fall in US consumer confidence,which fell to an all-time low in January in a further troubling sign for the world’s biggest energy consumer.
The closely-watched private research firm,the Conference Board,said its consumer confidence index tumbled to 37.7 in January,eclipsing the prior record low of 38.6 in December.
Oil prices have plunged since striking record peaks above USD 147 per barrel in July,as a deteriorating global economy dents demand for energy.
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