PRICES: OIL FUTURES STABLE
Crude-oil futures moved in a narrow price range in Asian hours Friday with market participants suggesting that the weak oil prices appear to have largely stabilized.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light, sweet crude futures for delivery in November traded at $92.53 a barrel at 0513 GMT, unchanged in the Globex electronic session. November Brent crude on London's ICE Futures exchange fell $0.03 to $96.97 a barrel.
The U.S. and its allies continue to conduct airstrikes on Islamic State targets in Syria but their intensity may level off as the U.S.-led military campaign drags on, officials said.
Iran's cooperation with the West against Islamic State could ramp up if talks over its nuclear program are successful, its President Hasan Rouhani said at the United Nations meeting in New York on Thursday.
Meanwhile, an increase in Libyan oil production still weighs on prices.
But this increase is expected to be offset by strong West African crude flows out of the region to Asia, where oil refiners are ramping up crude purchases ahead of the peak winter season, Michael Wittner, head of oil research at Societe Generale said in a report.
He said oil market fundamentals are not bullish, but are also not getting any worse, so prices appear to be stabilizing.
"In addition, there is a fairly strong behavioural pattern of Chinese refiners buying on the dips to take advantage of price weakness, whether to process the crude, or use it to build strategic or commercial stocks," Mr. Wittner said.
Nymex reformulated gasoline blendstock for October--the benchmark gasoline contract--fell 122 points to $2.7058 a gallon, while October diesel traded at $2.7002, 44 points higher.
ICE gasoil for October changed hands at $813.50 a metric ton, down $0.25 from Thursday's settlement.
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REUTERS - Brent crude futures LCOc1 were down 72 cents at $61.49 per barrel at 1020 GMT, having fallen by 1.5 percent on Tuesday, its largest one-day drop in a month. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 was at $55.12 per barrel, down 58 cents.
BLOOMBERG - Prices dropped during the session as the International Energy Agency said the recent recovery in oil prices, coupled with milder-than-normal winter weather, is slowing demand growth. The worsening outlook for consumption dampened some of the enthusiasm that OPEC and its allies will extend supply curbs.
Global energy needs rise more slowly than in the past but still expand by 30% between today and 2040. This is the equivalent of adding another China and India to today’s global demand.
Product exports have grown significantly over the past several years and are expected to continue to grow as Russian refineries add capacity to produce more high-quality products.