Crude prices rose in Asia on Monday with the normal weekly data sets in the U.S. on stockpiles ahead and investors looking for any demand cues from the Def and Bank of Japan this week amid a sluggish global economy. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, crude oil for delivery in September rose 0.32% to $44.33 a barrel. Last week, oil futures ended Friday’s session at the lowest level in nearly three months, as concerns over a global supply glut intensified after data showed that the U.S. oil rig count rose for the fourth week in a row last week. Oilfield services provider Baker Hughes said late Friday that the number of rigs drilling for oil in the U.S. last week increased by 14 to 371, the fourth straight weekly rise and the seventh increase in eight weeks. The renewed gain in U.S. drilling activity fueled speculation that domestic production could be on the verge of rebounding in the weeks ahead, underlining worries over a supply glut. Elsewhere, on the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oil for September delivery slumped 51 cents, or 1.1%, to settle at $45.69 a barrel by close of trade after dropping to an intraday low of $45.17, the weakest since May 11. According to market experts, elevated stocks of fuel products amid slowing global demand growth is expected to keep prices under pressure in the near-term. In the week ahead, oil traders will be focusing on U.S. stockpile data on Tuesday and Wednesday for fresh supply-and-demand signals.
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