Loading...
See More

Oil around $97 as traders eye Japan

Mar 16 2011 09:37 Sapa

Related Articles

Oil down amid crises in Japan, Mideast

Oil eases on Japan pessimism

Oil down on Japan crisis

Oil holds above $102 on Saudi worries

Oil still high on Mid East fear

Oil futures drop on strong dollar

 

Singapore - Oil prices hovered around $97 a barrel on Wednesday in Asia after a big loss overnight as Japan struggled to control a damaged nuclear plant and cope with a devastating earthquake and tsunami.

Benchmark crude for April delivery was up 3c at $97.21 a barrel at midday Singapore time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract dropped $4.01 to settle at $97.18 on Tuesday.

In London, Brent crude was down 2c at $108.32 a barrel on the ICE futures exchange.

Global investors have fled riskier assets after a massive quake and tsunami demolished Japan's northeast coast and killed an estimated 10 000 people. On Wednesday, Japan suspended operations to keep a stricken nuclear plant from melting down after surging radiation made it too dangerous to stay.

There is "a broad based de-risking across most equity and commodity markets in conjunction with the tragic turn of events in Japan," Ritterbusch and Associates said in a report. "Japanese economic uncertainties are bearish for crude."

Unrest in Bahrain and Libya helped support oil prices. Troops and police battled with anti-government protesters in Bahrain on Wednesday while monthlong fighting between government and rebel forces in Libya has cut most of the Opec nation's crude production.

"The market should be more focused on the Middle East," said Ben Westmore, commodities economist with National Australia Bank. "I don't see too much more downside to the oil price from here."

"The price falls we've seen in the last couple of days aren't justified given that events in the Middle East continue to simmer along and threaten global oil supply."

The American Petroleum Institute said late Tuesday that crude inventories rose 91 000 barrels last week while analysts surveyed by Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos., had forecast an increase of 2.1 million barrels. Inventories of gasoline fell 458 000 barrels and distillates rose 531 000 barrels, the API said.

The Energy Department's Energy Information Administration reports its weekly supply data later on Wednesday.

In other Nymex trading for April contracts, heating oil was down 1.5c at $2.94 a gallon and gasoline dropped 2.9c to $2.80 a gallon.

Natural gas rose 3.1c at $3.97 per 1 000 cubic feet.

japan  |  commodities  |  markets  |  oil
NEXT ON FIN24X

 
 
 

Read Fin24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Company Snapshot

We're talking about:

Small Business

New forms of digital technology are changing the very ways in which entrepreneurs run their businesses.
 
 

6 life hacks you simply have to know

A few simple tricks can make your life so much easier!

 
 

For chic geeks...

Device lets disabled people talk through their nose
It’s THIS easy for someone to steal your ATM pin!
This is why you should install iOS 8
17 photo illusions that look so real

Money Clinic

Money Clinic
Do you have a question about your finances? We'll get an expert opinion.
Click here...
Loading...