Crude prices dip in Asian trade

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IOL pic feb25 oil barrels colourful . .

Tokyo - Crude prices dropped in Asian trade on Monday after rebels agreed to re-open two of the four blockaded oil terminals in eastern Libya, analysts said.

New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for May delivery, dropped 26 cents to $100.88 a barrel in mid-morning trade and Brent North Sea crude for May slid 82 cents to $105.90.

The announcement of a deal to reopen the Zueitina and Al-Hariga terminals was made in Zueitina in the presence of government members and rebel chief Ibrahim Jodhran.

The two sides have set a target of two to four weeks for a re-opening of the other two terminals under blockade at Ras Lanouf and Al-Sidra.

Tan Chee Tat, investment analyst at Phillip Futures in Singapore, said Brent prices are facing downward pressure as the lifting of the blockades in Libya puts more supplies into the market.

“There are more indications that the negotiations are likely to achieve a breakthrough, resulting in further trimming of prices,” Tan told AFP.

WTI prices were lower on Monday as investors booked profits from gains last week in response to a positive jobs report in the United States, the world's biggest oil consuming nation.

The Department of Labour said the economy added 192 000 jobs in March, essentially meeting expectations and suggesting a continuation of the trend of slow but steady improvement.

“WTI gained quite a lot over the weekend, quickly rebounding back to above $100, although at the level of $101, it has led to some booking of profits resulting in the current losses,” Tan said. - AFP

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