Oil mixed in Asia on weak US, Europe data

Last Updated: Thursday, May 3, 2012 - 09:36

Singapore: Oil prices slipped in Asian trade on Thursday with weak employment figures from United States and the eurozone weighing on the market, analysts said.

Softer US energy demand also helped dampen sentiment.

New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude for delivery in June was down 13 cents at USD 105.09 per barrel while Brent North Sea crude for June was one cent down at USD 118.19.

Bearishness over the US economic recovery was exacerbated as payrolls firm ADP reported that private-sector hiring in the world's biggest economy fell more than 40 percent in April from March.

ADP reported businesses added only 119,000 jobs in April, far below Wall Street expectations of 170,000. Compounding the soft job picture was a sharp downward revision of the March number to 209,000.

Attention will now turn to Friday's official April numbers on the nation's employment and job growth, which includes both the private and public sectors.

"It had looked like a bout of May momentum was gathering pace with firmer US and Chinese manufacturing output ushering in the start of the month," said Justin Harper, market strategist at IG Markets Singapore.

"But ADP figures showing US employment rose by 119,000, compared to an expected 177,000 soon burst the bubble," he said in a market commentary.

"Bleak eurozone unemployment data also did its bit to remind traders that any global recovery will not be in a straight line but instead a road filled with potholes and sharp bends."

A US Department of Energy (DoE) report released yesterday showed crude reserves rose 2.8 million barrels in the week ending April 27, more than market expectations of a gain of 2.1 million barrels, suggesting ebbing demand.


First Published: Thursday, May 3, 2012 - 09:36

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