Oil prices take breather but up trend likely to continue

Singapore—Oil fell in Asia Friday as investors took a breather from a recent price rally spurred by the International Energy Agency’s forecast that the crude oversupply would shrink dramatically later this year. The uptrend is likely to continue as the IEA report shows that a rebalancing of the supply and demand situation could come in sooner rather than later, analysts said.
Demand is expected to grow at a “solid” rate this year, boosted by India’s needs, the IEA said Thursday as it projected that the oil surplus “will shrink dramatically” later in the year. The stubborn oversupply resulting from high production levels and weak demand has burdened the market for nearly two years. While prices have surged to six-month highs this week after plunging below $30 in February, they are still 60 percent off their value of more than $100 a barrel in June 2014. At around 0340 GMT, US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for June delivery was down 44 cents, or 0.94 percent, at $46.26 and Brent crude for July fell 29 cents, or 0.60 percent, at $47.79 a barrel.—AFP

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