MTECHTIPS;-Crude down in Asia with rig count at end of week eyed

MTECHTIPS;-Crude down in Asia with rig count at end of week eyed

MTECHTIPS-Crude prices were quoted weaker in Asia on Thursday with rig count figures by Baker Hughes at the end of the week to set the tone. On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for September delivery eased 0.20% to $49.49 a barrel, while on London’s Intercontinental Exchange, Brent fell 0.06% to $52.31 a barrel. The rig count figures are a proxy for U.S. shale oil output – with both the number of rigs drilling and output gaining steadily in the past year as prices hove around $50 a barrel. Overnight, crude futures settled higher on Wednesday, as investors cheered data showing supplies of U.S. crude fell for the fifth-straight week while refinery activity continued to grow. Crude prices recovered from a 2% plunge sustained the prior session, after a report from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed crude and gasoline stockpiles fell last week, pointing to an uptick in demand for crude and refinery activity. Inventories of U.S. crude fell by roughly 1.5 m barrels in the week ended July 28, below expectations of a draw of about 2.9 m barrels. It was fifth-straight week of falling crude inventories.

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