Current Oil Prices Lower in Asian Trade

The current oil prices are lower in Asian trading with investors locking in profits from latest gains.

On the NYMEX, the U.S. benchmark for March was 16 cents lower at $96.52 per barrel, while Brent for March was 20 cents lower to a crude price per barrel of $112.22.

Oil prices have closed higher in overnight trading on indications of stronger growth in Europe’s economy and new economic measures proclaimed by Japan’s central bank.

In the long term, oil will probably be supported by positive reports from the U.S., Japan and Europe, said analysts.

According to a recently published survey, the sentiment of German investors has hit a peak high since the beginning of the eurozone’s 2010 debt crisis, with the continuous improvement in the outlook of Europe’s number one economy.

The Bank of Japan, facing pressure from the country’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to devalue the Japanese currency, adopted an inflation target of 2 percent and stated its plans to start open-ended asset buying in the coming year to jump-start the stressed economy.

In the U.S., concerns of a political stalemate over the issues behind the fiscal cliff seem to have lessened. Fiscal challenges are still present, but the risk of “jumping” or “falling” off a cliff are lower compared to December of 2012, said DBS Research in a market commentary.

Furthermore, Republicans seem to be moving away from a debt limit showdown. They are increasingly seeing the threat of a government shutdown in order to achieve their desired spending cuts as counter-productive.