Oil prices down in Asia

SINGAPORE, July 29, 2013 – Oil prices were down in Asian trade Monday ahead of a US central bank meeting and the release of key economic data from the world’s biggest economy, analysts said.

New York’s main contract, West Texas Intermediate for delivery in September, was down 45 cents at $104.25 a barrel in mid-afternoon trade and Brent North Sea crude for September fell eight cents to $107.09.

“Federal Reserve officials (are) meeting this week and as ever all eyes will be on its post-meeting statement on Wednesday,” Kenny Kan, market analyst at CMC Markets, said in a note.

He said investors were hoping to “decipher the Fed’s timeline” for reeling in its $85 billion-a-month stimulus programme.

United Overseas Bank said markets were also waiting for the release this week of US second quarter gross domestic product figures, manufacturing data and a jobs report for clues about the health of the world’s biggest oil consuming nation.