Oil lower in Asian trade

Thursday, 30 September 2010 05:41 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

SINGAPORE (AFP) - Oil was lower in Asia Tuesday, tracking early trading losses in regional equity markets, analysts said. Investors were also taking a brief respite after last week’s price rally, they said. New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for November delivery fell 29 cents to 76.23 dollars a barrel while Brent North Sea crude was off 35 cents to 78.22 dollars. “Asian equities this morning have pulled back so it is not surprising that oil has also pulled back this morning,” said Victor Shum, a Singapore-based analyst with energy consultancy Purvin and Gertz. Asian stock markets including Tokyo, Hong Kong and Shanghai were down after Wall Street closed weaker in New York Monday. Analysts said crude futures investors were also taking a breather after last week’s rally, which saw oil prices surge by almost three dollars. “It is taking a breather. Oil in my opinion has been overbought,” Shum told AFP. JPMorgan analysts said the market was also looking ahead to next month’s meeting of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), the cartel that accounts for about 40 percent of the world’s oil output. “Ahead of the October 14 OPEC meeting, coverage of the group’s price expectations and targets is attracting ever more attention,” the analysts said in a report. They noted that the Kuwaiti oil minister had stated that oil prices were likely to be between 75 dollars and 80 dollars a barrel in the first quarter of 2011. “He maintained that there is no need to change quotas, and he is not worried about oil demand,” they said, but OPEC members’ compliance on quota production, currently below 60 percent, would likely be a key focus of the meeting.