Oil futures rebound

SINGAPORE. — Oil futures rebounded in Asian trade yesterday, buoyed by a forecast for a less than expected build in crude oil stockpiles last week. A weakening dollar also lent some support but concern that a two-month rally was fading in an oversupplied market put a ceiling on gains. Brent futures climbed 40c to $39,54 a barrel as of 1.04am GMT after settling down $1,13 in the previous session.US crude rose 45c to $38,73 a barrel after ending the previous session down $1,11.

Oil prices fell about 3 percent in the previous session after Kuwait and Saudi Arabia said they would resume production at the jointly operated 300 000 barrel a day Khafji field even as oil output is supposed to be capped.

“There’s a little bit of steadying in oil prices in the Asian time zone. The predominant attitude is one of wait-and-see until the Energy Information Administration (inventory) figures come out,” CMC Markets chief market analyst Ric Spooner said in Sydney.

US crude stocks rose last week by 2,6-million barrels to 534,4-million barrels data from industry group, the American Petroleum Institute, showed on Tuesday.

That was less than analysts’ expectations of a 3,3-million barrel build, but still a record high for a seventh consecutive week.

“The market is seeing how currencies go as well. It was slightly disconcerting for the market (on Tuesday) to see oil prices falling at the same time as the dollar was falling,” Mr Spooner said.

The dollar index nudged lower yesterday after slipping to an eight-day low in the previous session. A weaker dollar makes greenback-denominated commodities cheaper for holders of other currencies.

Rosneft, Russia’s top oil producer, was set to lower oil output, Russian Natural Resources Minister Sergei Donskoi said on Tuesday, although he gave no time frame. The plan could be lending support to oil prices, Mr Spooner said, although the effect would be muted because the market was already pricing in possible output curbs. Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) member Iran is expected to attend an oil producers meeting in Doha on April 17 to discuss a cap on global oil production, although it may not take part in the discussions, a source familiar with Iranian thinking said on Tuesday. — Reuters.

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