Oil prices up in Asia

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SINGAPORE, Aug 27: Oil rose in Asia Thursday as dealers digested a mixed US energy report showing a dip in crude inventories, but barely any decline in production despite sinking prices. US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for October delivery gained 86 cents to $39.46 while Brent crude for October rose $1.07 to $44.21 in late-morning trade. The US Department of Energy said Wednesday US crude supplies unexpectedly fell by 5.5 million barrels for the week ending August 21, indicating healthy demand. However, US crude production slipped a scant 11,000 barrels a day in the same period, keeping output above 9.3 million barrels and not far from a decades-high production level. In another bearish indicator, gasoline supplies increased by 1.7 million barrels, adding to concerns of a global glut of energy supplies. Despite the gains in Asian trading, Singapore’s United Overseas Bank said the mixed report compounded “negative sentiment after worldwide falls in equities that helped drag fuel prices to six and a half year lows”. Oil prices hit their lowest levels since early 2009 on Monday over concerns China’s slowing economy will curb demand for the commodities that have helped drive its growth over the past three decades.

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