Oil down in Asian trade

Thursday, 28 October 2010 05:17 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

SINGAPORE, (AFP) - A predicted surge in US crude inventory data dragged down oil prices in Asian trade on Wednesday, analysts said.

New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in December, shed 30 cents to 82.25 dollars a barrel.

Brent North Sea crude for December delivery dipped 24 cents to 83.42 dollars.

Oil prices floundered as forecasts Tuesday of surging US crude inventories weighed on markets, said Ong Yi Ling, investment analyst for Phillip Futures in Singapore.

“I think that (the price dip) would be due to the inventory data by the American Petroleum Institute (API) yesterday,” she said.

API numbers predicted crude inventories in the world’s biggest oil consumer would jump 6.4 million barrels, against analyst predictions of a 1.1 million barrel increase, Ong said.

Crude prices fell in spite of a modest rise in US consumer confidence, which pushed prices up late Tuesday.

The Conference Board consumer confidence index for October stood at 50.2, up from 48.6 in September, beating analysts’ consensus forecast of 49.0.

However, the index level remained very close to historic lows.

Consumer confidence is seen as a pivotal indicator of the health of the US economy, which is driven mostly by consumer spending.