Wednesday, August 13 15:36:55
Brent crude oil bounced off a 13-month low today, reversing early losses to trade back above $103 a barrel as traders with one eye on potential supply disruptions in Iraq started buying.
The international oil benchmark has fallen 11 percent since mid-June as a surge by Islamic State militants in northern Iraq has not yet created major supply outages, while global crude output has been rising.
But traders said some in the market remained cautious, and were looking to buy contracts as prices fell towards the $100 level.
"Brent was due for a correction," said Carsten Fritsch, analyst at Commerzbank.
Brent for September delivery was up 41 cents at $103.43 a barrel by 1403 GMT. The contract, which expires on Thursday, dropped as low as $102.37 in the session, the weakest since July 2013.
The Brent contract for October delivery was up 36 cents at $104.25 per barrel.
U.S. crude was up 5 cents at $97.42 a barrel, slipping for a second session. Its discount to Brent narrowed to the smallest in almost three weeks earlier in the session.
The U.S. dollar also weakened against the euro, providing additional support for commodities priced in the U.S. currency for holders of other currencies.
"Brent prices have been in a steady decline and I think the background of that is that the market is forming the view that any supply disruptions are not on the immediate horizon," said chief market analyst Ric Spooner of CMC Markets.
Exports from Libya are recovering despite the worst unrest in the country since 2011, with the first tanker leaving the port of Ras Lanuf on Tuesday since the end of a year-long harbour blockade. (Reuters)
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