Crude down in Asia as hopes for Fed, ECB stimulus fade


Crude markets fell in Asia Wednesday as fading hopes for additional stimulus measures from the US Federal Reserve and European Central Bank (ECB) led prices down, analysts said.
New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in September, fell 23 cents to $87.83 a barrel and Brent North Sea crude for September delivery shed 48 cents to $104.44.
“Both futures are down as the expectations about any stimulus from the central bankers are now coming down,” said Victor Shum, senior principal for Purvin and Gertz energy consultants in Singapore.
“Some of the economic data that came out of the US yesterday actually look more optimistic,” Shum told AFP, so that “the Fed would unlikely have another round of quantitative easing”.
Data released in the US overnight showed upticks in manufacturing, housing prices and consumer confidence in the world’s largest oil consumer.
Despite diminishing hopes, traders were still closely watching a Fed meeting due to conclude later Wednesday for any signs of stimulus measures, with a gathering of ECB policy makers also due on Thursday.
There were also “some doubts in the market that the European Central Bank will do something substantial to stimulate the economy,” Shum said.
“Because of these increasing concerns that the stimulus would not be forthcoming, we are seeing some selling in the oil markets today.”