Oil down in Asia as US stimulus hopes fade

Crude oil — File Photo
Crude oil — File Photo

SINGAPORE: Crude fell in Asia Friday as hopes for a US stimulus faded and eurozone worries resurfaced after German opposition to a Greek call for more time to enact spending cuts and reforms, analysts said.

New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in October shed 59 cents to $95.68 a barrel in the afternoon and Brent North Sea crude for October delivery dipped 47 cents to $114.54.

Crude markets were down as “revived hopes for more stimulus from the US Federal Reserve faded and doubts about Europe's ability to address its debt crisis crept back in focus”, Phillip Futures said in a report.

Hopes for a Fed-led stimulus, which had been buoyed by minutes of its last meeting showing “many members” supporting such a move soon, faded after comments Thursday by a senior Fed official that the data was outdated.

“St Louis Fed president (James) Bullard summed it up by saying the minutes were 'stale',” IG Markets said in a report.

“The structure of the Fed minutes, being released three weeks after the meeting itself, gives a snapshot of the economy that has since moved on,” the report added.

In Europe, worries about the region's debt woes came to the fore again after German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said he opposed Greek calls for more time to make painful spending cuts and reforms to unlock much-needed funds.

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