SINGAPORE: Oil prices fell in Asia Wednesday on profit-taking after the previous day’s sharp gains, with traders expecting another rise in US inventories, analysts said.
US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for May delivery declined $1.03 to $52.95 and Brent crude for May dropped 64 cents to $58.46 in late-morning trade.
On Tuesday WTI rose $1.84 and Brent was up 98 cents on easing worries that Iranian crude will flood the market soon after last week’s nuclear deal with the West.Also providing support was news that Saudi Arabia had raised prices for Asia citing increased demand.
Daniel Ang, an investment analyst with Phillip Futures in Singapore, said he saw elements of profit-taking in Wednesday’s trade, with an expected rise in US weekly crude inventories also dampening sentiment.
The US Energy Information Administration will release its stockpiles report, a closely watched barometer of demand in the world’s top oil consuming nation, later Wednesday.
“Fundamentals are still weak,” Ang said, referring to soft demand amid the global crude oversupply that has led to a collapse in prices since June.
Capital Economics said in a market commentary: “There is unlikely to be much additional Iranian oil hitting the market this year, even if a full (nuclear) deal is signed in June.