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May 23, 2017

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Oil prices on the rise in Asian market

SINGAPORE--Oil prices rose in Asia Tuesday as dealers await the release of a batch of U.S. economic data for clues on whether the U.S. Federal Reserve will speed up its timetable for raising interest rates, analysts said.

U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate for October delivery rose 27 cents to US$93.62 while Brent crude for October gained 11 cents US$102.76 in afternoon trade.

Data on U.S. durable goods orders in July, the 20-city Case-Shiller home price index for June, as well the Conference Board's reading of consumer confidence for August are set to be released later Tuesday.

Analysts said the data will be pored over for clues on how well the world's biggest economy is faring and when the Fed will hike interest rates.

Fed chairman Janet Yellen last week signaled her commitment to raising rates late next year, but market watchers say robust U.S. economic data could shorten the central bank's timetable.

The oil market is continuing to monitor geopolitical tensions in crude producers Iraq and Libya as well as Ukraine, a key conduit for Russian gas exports to Europe.

"Support from geopolitical tensions in Ukraine and Libya have countered ample supplies and anticipated weak demand," Singapore's United Overseas Bank said in a note.

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