Oil prices rebound in Asia

2012-09-27 07:48

Singapore - Oil prices rebounded in Asian trade on Thursday on bargain-hunting but escalating turmoil in debt-wracked Greece and Spain limited gains.

New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in November was up 39 cents to $90.37 a barrel in morning trade after closing overnight below $90 a barrel for the first time since August 2.

Brent North Sea crude for November delivery gained 29 cents to $110.33.

A general strike in Greece and violent demonstrations in Spain to protest against tough austerity measures in exchange for much-needed financial lifelines hammered sentiment.

"The main focus for investors globally is once again Europe, with Greece and Spain remaining the main concerns," said Jason Hughes, head of premium client management at IG Markets Singapore.

"Neither seems able to do enough to put its house and mountains of debt in order, and most developments have not appeased markets for long," he said in a market commentary.

"Despite all that has been promised so far by the ECB (European Central Bank) and the moves forward by politicians, we seem to be as far as ever from the end game for the eurozone crisis."

Police in Athens on Wednesday clashed with masked demonstrators during a nationwide strike over a new round of austerity cuts introduced in return for vital EU-IMF loans.

Youths threw firebombs, smashed windows and set fire to rubbish on the sidelines of the demonstration near luxury hotels on the capital's central Syntagma square.

Police responded by firing tear gas and stun grenades to disperse a group of around 200 protesters.

In Spain, police beat and fired rubber bullets at demonstrators Tuesday as the government prepares to pass its 2013 austerity budget Thursday, with €39bn in savings, including an anticipated third straight year of salary freezes for civil servants.

Adding to Spain's troubles was news that its recession has deepened "significant pace" in the third quarter of the year.

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