Brent steadies above $109 after overnight losses
Singapore, October 10, 2013
Brent steadied above $109 per barrel on Thursday, following steep overnight losses as data showed US crude stocks rose by the most in a year last week.
Festering uncertainty over the budget standoff in Washington continued to cloud the outlook for demand, although President Barack Obama launched a series of White House meetings with lawmakers to search for a way to end the impasse.
"The key thing at the moment is the supply situation. We saw a steep increase in stocks, which took its toll on prices," said Ric Spooner, chief market analyst at CMC Markets in Sydney.
"And now macroeconomic concerns building over the US budget crisis are drawing in the same direction, leading to softening oil prices."
Brent futures were 3 cents higher at $109.09 per barrel at 0404 GMT, after falling $1.10 on Wednesday. US oil had risen 5 cents to $101.66 per barrel.
STOCKPILES, DOLLAR WEIGH
Global oil prices sank on Wednesday after US crude stocks rose by 6.8 million barrels in the week to October 4, well above forecasts by analysts for a 1.5 million barrel increase.
Over the past three weeks, crude stockpiles have increased by a total of 14.9 million barrels, the biggest three-week increase since April 2012.
Oil was further pressured by the dollar, which rose against a basket of major currencies on Thursday, after the minutes of the Federal Reserve's September meeting showed the decision not to slow stimulus was a "close call". The nomination of Janet Yellen also removed uncertainty in financial markets on who will be the next head of the central bank.
The currency had hovered near an eight-month low in the past week, supporting dollar-denominated oil prices.
Shell Nigeria said on Wednesday it had shut its Trans Niger Pipeline (TNP) owing to reports of leaks, deferring 150,000 barrels per day of crude oil just 10 days after the pipeline was re-opened. - Reuters