| GEO Business|
Oil prices rebound in Asian trade
| Updated at: 0745 PST, Friday, August 20, 2010|
SINGAPORE: Oil prices rebounded in Asian trade Friday on hopes the Japanese government would ease monetary policy to stimulate its economy, analysts said.
New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in September, was up 14 cents to 74.57 dollars a barrel in morning trade.
Brent North Sea crude for October delivery advanced 24 cents to 75.54 dollars.
Hopes that the Japanese government would intervene to curtail the appreciating yen were galvanising crude markets, said Victor Shum, senior principal of Purvin and Gertz energy consultants in Singapore.
Japan is the world's third largest energy consuming nation after the United States and China.
"The markets are reacting to the expectations that the Japanese government will try to stimulate the economy with further monetary easing," he said.
On Thursday, Japanese Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda reiterated that he would closely watch the forex market, signalling his caution over the appreciating yen, which hurts exports, Japan's main economic driver.
The statement came after Noda last week said he would take "appropriate action" after the yen jumped to a 15-year high versus the dollar.
Japan's second-quarter gross domestic product grew at an annualised 0.4 percent, a disappointment for the market, which was expecting 2.3 percent growth.