Oil prices down in Asian trade

Oil prices down in Asian trade

SINGAPORE - Oil prices fell in Asia Wednesday as dealers squared positions following sharp gains in the previous session that were stoked by indications the OPEC cartel will cut its production target next year.

US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for October delivery fell 12 cents to US$94.76 (S$119.61) while Brent crude for November eased eight cents to $98.97 in afternoon trade.

WTI jumped $1.96 on Tuesday while Brent gained $1.17.

"We are seeing some consolidation in the oil market in Asian hours after news of the OPEC production cut led to gains overnight," Ric Spooner, chief market analyst at CMC Markets in Sydney, told AFP.

In comments widely reported Tuesday, Abdullah El-Badri, secretary-general of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), said he expected the cartel to trim output in 2015 by about 500,000 barrels per day to 29.5 million.

The cartel is due to hold its next production meeting in Vienna on November 27.

In June, OPEC agreed to keep production at 30 million barrels a day, saying that while demand was picking up, downside risks to the global economy "remain unchecked".

Since the June meeting, oil prices have been in fairly steady retreat, with Brent falling to a two-year low Monday owing partly to concerns about demand in China.

McCarthy said dealers are standing on the sidelines ahead of the release of the latest official US stockpiles data later Wednesday.

Analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires expect crude reserves to have dropped by 1.2 million barrels on average in the week to September 12.

A key monetary policy statement due to be released by the US Federal Reserve at 1800 GMT on Wednesday will also be in focus, McCarthy said.


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