Oil prices rebound in Asian trade

Oil prices on Tuesday edged up slightly after nearing six-year lows but gains were capped owing to lingering concern about a global supply glut, weak demand and Greece's political future, analysts said.

Singapore: Oil prices on Tuesday edged up slightly after nearing six-year lows but gains were capped owing to lingering concern about a global supply glut, weak demand and Greece's political future, analysts said.

US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for March delivery gained 10 cents to USD 45.25 while Brent crude for March rose 14 cents to USD 48.30 in late-morning trade.

WTI yesterday fell 44 cents to USD 45.15 and Brent slipped 63 cents to USD 48.16 -- their lowest closes since early 2009 -- as markets largely ignored a warning from the OPEC oil cartel that prices could surge to USD 200 owing to shrinking investment in exploration.

Oil has lost more than half its value since June last year when the commodity was sitting at more than USD 100 a barrel due to a supply glut, boosted largely by robust US shale oil production, and weak global demand.

Shailaja Nair, associate editorial director at energy information provider Platts, said the comments by OPEC Secretary General Abdullah El-Badri did not alter "market fundamentals".

"There is still oversupply in the market, global demand is on a fall and the eurozone is suffering after the recent (Greek) election results," Nair told AFP.

A weekend general election in Greece was won by the Syriza Party, whose anti-austerity policies have sparked fears the country could exit the eurozone. The news initially sent the euro plunging to a more than 11-year low against the dollar Monday, although it recovered later in the day.

Dealers will next focus on US durable goods and consumer confidence data to be released later Tuesday, said Daniel Ang, investment analyst at Phillip Futures in Singapore.

"Figures today would likely serve to emphasise the healthy growth that the US is experiencing," Ang said.

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