Oil above $93 ahead of US retail sales figuresThe Associated Press
BANGKOK -- Oil prices rose slightly Monday in Asia, clawing back losses triggered by the International Energy Agency's lower crude demand forecast as investors awaited U.S. retail sales figures.
Benchmark crude for September delivery was up 43 cents at $93.30 a barrel at early afternoon Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 49 cents to end at $92.87 on Friday. Brent crude was up 70 cents at $113.65 on the ICE futures exchange in London.
Mark Pervan, senior commodity strategist at ANZ Bank in Melbourne, Australia said attention this week will focus partly on U.S. retail sales for July as an indicator of whether demand for crude could increase or slacken.
"Retail data will give a reasonably good indication of underlying demand," he said. Strong retail figures would lift the oil price, he said. Other U.S. economic data this week includes industrial production figures for July.
On Friday, the IEA lowered its forecast for global crude demand for the year to 89.6 million barrels a day from 89.9 million. That included a downward revision of 200,000 barrels a day for China. The agency also cut its forecast for oil demand in 2013 to 90.5 million barrels per day from 90.9 million previously.
The IEA said the reduction was due to a "combination of persistently high prices and a weak economic backdrop."
In other futures trading, heating oil rose 1.5 cents to $3.035 per gallon. Natural gas was down 2.3 cents at $2.747 per 1,000 cubic feet. Gasoline was up 2.4 cents at $3.03 per gallon.