Oil stages rebound in Asian trade on bargain-hunting


SINGAPORE–Oil prices rose in Asia Wednesday on bargain-hunting following sharp falls in the previous session triggered by a strong U.S. dollar and continued concern over the global supply glut, analysts said. U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for July delivery gained 44 cents to US$58.47 while Brent crude for July gained 30 cents to US$64.02 in afternoon trade.

WTI fell US$1.69 and Brent dipped US$1.80 on Tuesday, as markets in the United States and much of Europe reopened after a public holiday on Monday.

Oil prices have been under pressure on a resurgent dollar, which has strengthened following expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve will follow through on plans to raise record-low interest rates later this year.

The stronger greenback makes crude more expensive for buyers using weaker currencies.

��As the prices for crude dropped quite sharply last night, the current rebound is due to bargain hunting as traders pounce at the low prices,�� Nicholas Teo, market analyst at CMC Markets in Singapore, told AFP.

Teo said dealers are also awaiting the latest official American stockpiles report to be released later Wednesday for fresh clues about demand and production levels in the world’s top crude consumer.

Crude reserves likely fell by 1.5 million barrels in the week to May 22, according to a survey by Bloomberg News.

Overall U.S. stockpiles, which stand at 482.2 million barrels, are at the highest level since 1930, according to data compiled by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.