Oil prices down in Asian trade

SINGAPORE:Oil prices fell in Asia Thursday following a surprise increase in US commercial crude-oil stockpiles and a slew of soft economic data from leading energy consumers.

US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for September delivery eased 28 cents to $97.31 while Brent crude for September shed 50 cents to $103.78 in mid-morning trade.

A build in US inventories for the first time in seven weeks weighed on prices, analysts said.

US crude-oil inventories rose by 1.4 million barrels, to 367.0 million, in the week ending August 8, the Department of Energy said.

Crude-oil supplies had contracted by roughly 22 million barrels over the prior six weeks.

The inventories increase surprised analysts, who expected a decline of 1.7 million barrels, according to a survey by Dow Jones Newswires.

Benchmark prices also weakened due to “soft economic data from Europe and China”, said Sanjeev Gupta, head of the Asia-Pacific oil and gas practice at consultancy firm EY.

Source : APP