SINGAPORE: Oil edged higher in Asian trade Thursday but prices were capped ahead of a Spanish government bond auction amid fears anaemic demand could reignite jitters over the eurozone debt crisis.
Prices were supported by renewed concerns over Middle East supply owing to the standoff between key producer Iran and the West over Tehran's nuclear programme.
New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate crude for delivery in May was up four cents to $102.71 per barrel while Brent North Sea crude for June gained 38 cents to $118.35 in morning trade.
"The situation with Iran is still a supporting factor because it is still not resolved after the talks," said Ken Hasegawa, energy desk manager at Newedge brokerage in Japan.
Talks between Iran and the West at the weekend were described as "positive" by both parties but international leaders have been quick to insist a great deal was expected of the Islamic republic at the next meeting in Baghdad on May 23.
However, eyes are on Europe where investors were keenly awaiting the results of Spain's benchmark 10-year government bond auction. (AFP)