SINGAPORE: Oil prices fell in Asian trade Tuesday following a sharp rise the day before while investors await the release of key economic data this week, analysts said.
US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for November delivery was down 22 cents at $94.35 a barrel and Brent crude dropped 16 cents to $97.04.
WTI climbed $1.03 in US trade Monday, while Brent was up 20 cents ahead of a fresh round of results they hope will confirm the US economic recovery is well on track.
The US Conference Board is due to release Tuesday a report on consumer confidence for September, while the US Labor Department’s take on the jobs situation will be out Friday.
On Wednesday, the US Energy Department unveils its weekly oil inventory report, which is closely watched for an indication of the level of demand in the world’s top oil consuming nation.
“The Conference Board’s measure of consumer confidence reached a new seven-year high of 92.4 last month, and we see no reason why the index should not rise further in September,” research house Capital Economics said in a market commentary.
”The key determinants of confidence have all improved,” it said, adding it expects the September index to come in around 93.5.
Consumer spending is the main engine for the US economy, the world’s biggest and a key driver for global growth.
Capital Economics also said the recent decline in world oil prices “mainly reflects improving supply conditions” and “as such it should provide a modest boost to global demand”.
The drivers for the ample global oil supplies include “increased US shale output, relief that geopolitical problems have not disrupted supply and expectations that output in Iran and Libya will recover”, it added.