Oil prices fall in Asian trade on demand fears

Oil prices fall in Asian trade on demand fears

SINGAPORE - Oil prices declined in Asia on Thursday after the International Energy Agency (IEA) lowered its global demand forecast while data showed an increase in US inventories, dealers said.

New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in April dropped 25 cents to $92.27 a barrel and Brent North Sea crude for April delivery shed 29 cents to $108.23.

The IEA on Wednesday slashed its global forecast for growth in world oil demand for the second straight month, citing uncertainty from the US budget talks, sluggish Chinese business activity and unemployment in Europe.

It estimated that demand for oil would total 90.6 million barrels per day this year, a cut of 60,000 barrels from its forecast in February.

"The IEA's trimming of its 2013 global oil demand forecast added to pessimism," said Sanjeev Gupta, who heads the Asia-Pacific oil and gas practice at Ernst and Young.

In the United States, the world's biggest oil consuming nation, fresh data from the US Department of Energy showed stockpiles rose 2.6 million barrels in the week ended March 8, indicating weaker demand in the world's biggest economy.

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