Oil prices mixed in Asian trade

Oil prices were mixed in Asian trade Wednesday following recent losses caused by worries over the US economy and the level of crude stockpiles, analysts said.

New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in November,  gained 47 cents to 75.44 dollars a barrel in the afternoon.

Brent North Sea crude for November fell six cents to 78.36 dollars.

Crude markets were coming off five sessions of losses in six days, “weighed by high oil inventories and the (US Federal Reserve’s) concerns over the faltering economy,” a report from Phillip Futures said.

Doubts over the strength of the US economy were stoked after the Fed’s open market committee warned Tuesday that “the pace of recovery in output and employment has slowed.”

And while the central bank left interest rates at record lows, it said it was prepared to take new stimulus measures if necessary.

Oil stockpiles also showed no sign of easing, the report added.

“The American Petroleum (Institute) released inventory reports that showed crude oil stocks unexpectedly rose 2.2 million barrels last week. Earlier, analysts had anticipated a drawdown in crude stocks,” it said.

The US Department of Energy will release its weekly stockpile report later Wednesday.