Oil prices lower in Asian trade

Oil prices lower in Asian trade

SINGAPORE - Oil prices were down in Asian trade Monday as investors locked in profits from last week's gains after US stocks blazed to new record levels.

The US benchmark contract, West Texas Intermediate for June delivery, was down five cents to US$95.97 (S$120) a barrel and Brent North Sea crude for delivery in July dropped three cents to US$104.61.

Prices had surged last week after a better-than-expected reading on US consumer confidence boosted hopes for stronger energy demand in the world's biggest economy and sent US stocks soaring to new record highs Friday.

DBS Bank said financial markets are waiting for further news on US home sales, durable goods orders and personal consumption this week, as well as a testimony on Wednesday by US Fed chief Ben Bernanke before the Joint Economic Committee of the US Congress.

Bernanke is expected to update the Congress on the central bank's latest economic outlook, with the markets closely watching for indications on when the Fed will start winding down its massive bond-buying programme to boost the economy.

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