Oil down in Asian trade
SINGAPORE: Oil fell in Asian trade Wednesday as hopes faded for a fresh dose of monetary stimulus from the US Federal Reserve, analysts said.
New York’s main contract, West Texas Intermediate crude for delivery in May, shed 30 cents to $103.71 per barrel. Brent North Sea crude for May settlement was down 42 cents at $124.44 in morning trade.
“Oil fell… as caution over lacklustre demand growth and fading expectations for more monetary stimulus from the US central bank countered concerns about potential supply disruptions,” Phillip Futures commented.
The release of minutes from the Fed’s March 13 policy meeting gave little sign of any new monetary measures to boost growth in the United States, the world’s biggest economy and its largest oil consumer.
Meanwhile, tensions between the West and major crude producer Iran remain a key concern for investors.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday said a global campaign of sanctions against Iran had so far failed to halt Tehran’s nuclear drive.
The United States and its Western allies have called for time for the sanctions on Tehran to take effect.