Oil rebounds in Asian trade

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Tokyo - Oil prices rebounded in Asia on Wednesday on bargain-hunting after falling to multi-month lows due to a surge in the US dollar and weak global manufacturing data, analysts said.

The US benchmark, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for October delivery, rose 39 cents to $93.27 while Brent crude for October gained 37 cents to $100.71 in late-morning trade.

WTI fell $3.08 to $92.88 in New York trade, its lowest level since January, while Brent sank $2.45 in London to $100.34. It had gotten as low as $100.17, its lowest level since May 2013.

“The oil market is recovering after the surge in the US dollar put a downspin on commodity prices, including crude oil,” David Lennox, resource analyst at Fat Prophets in Sydney, told AFP.

The US dollar bought 105.20 yen in Asia on Wednesday, compared with 104.06 yen on Friday before the long weekend in the United States. US markets were shut on Monday due to the Labour Day public holiday.

A stronger greenback makes dollar-priced oil and commodities more expensive for buyers using weaker currencies, denting demand and pushing prices lower.

Lennox said oil prices were also under pressure after weak Chinese and European manufacturing data released this week raised concerns about a slowdown in global energy demand.

Investors will next be scrutinising the latest official US petroleum stockpiles report for trading cues, he added.

The US Energy Information Administration will release the report a day later than usual on Thursday instead of Wednesday due to the public holiday on Monday.

“The Labour Day holiday marked the end of the US driving season, and investors will be looking at the latest stockpiles report to give a wrap-up on what the season looked like this year,” Lennox said.

US gasoline demand typically spikes during the summer months when Americans traditionally take to the roads for their holidays. - AFP

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