Oil Stays Above $46 As Market Ponders Output Freeze Calls

Oil stays above $46 as market ponders output freeze calls

SINGAPORE, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 17th Augst,2016) - Oil prices fell in Asia Wednesday as investors booked profits from recent gains, but stayed above $46 on hopes producers would decide to freeze output at a meeting next month. Prices closed at five-week highs overnight, bolstered by a weaker dollar and after remarks by OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia and non-OPEC rival Russia on cooperation to stabilise prices, which could include an output freeze. US crude climbed 1.8 percent to settle at $46.48 a barrel in New York and Brent also advanced 1.8 percent to close at 49.23 in London on Tuesday. Both contracts were down in Asian trade on Wednesday as investors booked some profits, but analysts said the decline was tempered by buying in anticipation that prices would still go higher.

"Yes, there is an element of profit taking initially.

However it looks as though... Asian traders have used that profit taking move down to add to long positions," said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at OANDA. At around 0400 GMT, US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for delivery in September was down 25 cents, or 0.54 percent, at $46.33 and Brent crude for October fell 35 cents, or 0.75 percent, to $48.88 a barrel. Prices have surged by as much as 18 percent after closing below $40 a barrel on August 2 for the first time since April and falling into a bear market.