SINGAPORE- Oil was mixed in Asian trade Monday but remained subdued with no signs the world’s key crude producers will cut output in the face of a supply glut, analysts said.
US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for delivery in December was up one cent to $81.02 a barrel in late-morning Asian trade, reversing earlier losses, while Brent crude for December eased 25 cents to $85.88.
Both contracts were down Friday, resuming their slide following a rebound the day before as traders shrugged off reports of a supply cutback in September by oil kingpin Saudi Arabia.
World oil prices have fallen by a quarter since June as excess supply and weaker demand led to a glut on global markets, prompting some other exporters to call for cuts in output.
Analysts said however there are no indications of a production cut, and investors were looking for further developments during a meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) next month.
“This year, global commercial oil stocks have surpassed the 5.0 billion barrel mark, growing at a rate of 1.16 million barrels per day on average over the first three quarters of this year,” British bank Barclays said in a research note.
“Such is the surplus in the market that is weighing on prices.”
It said that “the absence of an official policy statement, especially from Saudi Arabia in response to the fall in oil prices has left a void in guidance”.
“This void has thus far been filled by a string of unsubstantiated assumptions in various press reports, as well as an extrapolation of the kingdom’s crude pricing and production data,” it added.
Phillip Futures said in a note that in the coming week, “it is unlikely that supply and demand factors would change”.