SINGAPORE (AFP): Oil prices fell in Asia Monday, coming under pressure as dealers took profits from huge gains in the previous session and tried to gauge the outlook for the US economy and its taste for crude. US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for October delivery eased 79 cents to $44.43 while Brent crude for October fell $1.00 to $49.05 in late-morning trade. WTI jumped $2.66 (6.3 percent) on Friday, capping its strongest weekly increase in four and a half years.
, while Brent surged $2.49 (5.2 percent) after prices plunged on concerns about China’s faltering economy.
Dealers said the rebound was largely due to news the US economy grew at an annual rate of 3.7 percent in the second quarter, up from a previous estimate of 2.3 percent, stoking hopes of a pickup in demand from the world’s top oil consumer.
“Better-than-expected US GDP numbers and the strong rally of global stock market were some of the contributing factors for the recovery in the price of crude,” said Sanjeev Gupta, head of the Asia-Pacific oil and gas practice at consultancy EY.
Oil has been on a roller-coaster ride in recent weeks over fears of a harder-than-expected slowdown in China, the world’s top energy importer, at a time when world markets are awash with supplies.