Oil recovers ahead of US inventory numbers

SINGAPORE : Oil prices enjoyed rare gains in Asian trade on Tuesday, with Brent crude bouncing from an 11-year low as investors await a closely watched US crude inventory report.

At 0330 GMT, US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for delivery in February, a new contract, was 29 cents higher at $36.10 a barrel.

The European standard, Brent crude, for February was at $36.56, up 21 cents from its closing level of $36.35 in London on Monday, which was the lowest since July 2004.

“This could be positioning ahead of the weekly American reports, which should show rising crude inventories,” said Bernard Aw, market strategist at IG in Singapore.

Oil is heading for a second annual loss on signs a global glut will be prolonged after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries effectively abandoned output limits at a meeting on December 4.

Brent slumped on Monday on speculation suppliers from the Middle East to the United States will continue pumping, exacerbating the surplus as they fight for market share.

“It’s all about market share and bravado at the moment,” Jonathan Barratt, the chief investment officer at Ayers Alliance Securities in Sydney, told Sources.

Agencies

 

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