Business

Oil prices rebound in Asia after heavy selloff

SINGAPORE: Oil prices rebounded in Asia on Wednesday following a sharp decline in the previous session, analysts said, as investors await a weekly US stockpiles report later in the day.

US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for March delivery rose 44 cents to $50.46 a barrel while Brent crude for March rose 16 cents to $56.59 in afternoon trade.

Nicholas Teo, market analyst at CMC Markets in Singapore, said the downbeat market outlook from the International Energy Agency had pushed both contracts down between three and five percent in the previous session.

The IEA report points to a “persistent global supply glut” for crude, Teo said.

The agency said in its five-year forecast that prices will recover slightly from current levels by 2020 but remain considerably below the $100-plus per barrel seen in June.

The US Department of Energy’s weekly petroleum report, due Wednesday, is also expected to show a 3.6 million barrel increase in stockpiles, according to a Bloomberg News poll.

Rising stockpiles indicate weaker demand in the world’s biggest economy and top oil consuming nation.

Oil prices have been under pressure for months, plunging about 60 percent to just over $40 a barrel between June and the end of January, dragged down by a weak dollar and abundant global supplies.

They have recovered some of their lost ground in recent weeks as the number of drilling rigs falls and energy firms begin to cut investment. (AFP)

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