Crude up in Asia on bargain hunting

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Aug 04 2011 11:34 AM | Updated as of Aug 04 2011 07:34 PM

SINGAPORE - Oil prices were up in Asia on Thursday as investors hunted for bargains after crude markets plunged in late US trade, analysts said.

New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in September, added 53 cents to 92.46 per barrel.

Brent North Sea crude for September delivery gained 39 cents to $113.62.

Crude traders were capitalising on cheap crude after it fell to one-month lows in late US trade Wednesday, analysts said.

"I think its just a temporary relief rally because oil prices were quite battered yesterday," said Serene Lim, oil and gas analyst for ANZ bank in Singapore.

Crude markets had been dragged south on Tuesday by weak jobs creation and service sector growth numbers from the United States, prompting fears of a slowdown in the world's largest oil consumer.

The Institute for Supply Management's index released Wednesday showed the giant US service sector growing at a snail's pace in July, with non-manufacturing activity dropping to 52.7 last month, barely above the 50 no-growth level.

US private sector hiring also slowed in July, with payrolls firm ADP reporting a net 114,000 jobs created by private, non-farm businesses last month compared with 145,000 in June.