World oil prices rebound but sentiment subdued

October 22, 2012
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An oil pump/FILE
SINGAPORE, Oct 22 – World oil prices rose in Asian trade Monday, rebounding from sharp losses last week but sentiment was subdued as investors kept to the sidelines following weak US corporate earnings.

Traders were waiting for more news from US firms after heavyweights General Electric, McDonald’s and Microsoft reported poor corporate earnings last week.

New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for November, was up 52 cents to $90.57 a barrel in afternoon Asian trade after plunging $2.05 on Friday.

Brent North Sea Crude for delivery in December gained 56 cents to $110.70, recovering from its $2.28 drop in London trade.

“News out of the US is likely to dictate market action this week with more corporate earnings and economic data being released to an anxious audience,” said Justin Harper, an analyst with IG Markets Singapore.

“This week the earnings season continues with Caterpillar, UPS, Apple and Merck among the bellwether stocks announcing their results. But the picture looks pretty bleak for corporate America and is tugging at the prospects for global markets.”

Harper said global markets were also anticipating third quarter gross domestic product figures in the world’s biggest economy and largest oil consumer, with the eurozone debt crisis expected to remain as a dampener.

“For the near-term at the very least the eurozone should continue its zombie-like state — still alive thanks to EU intervention but with no clear direction as austerity measures bite,” he said.

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