SINGAPORE: Crude prices fell in Asia Monday with traders disappointed after US Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke did not confirm stimulus measures during a closely-watched speech, analysts said.
New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in October, shed 24 cents to $96.23 a barrel and Brent North Sea crude for October delivery fell 17 cents to $114.40. Crude markets were digesting Bernanke’s speech at a central bankers’ summit in Jackson Hole, Wyoming on Friday, where he did not announce a firm timetable for stimulus measures, IG Markets said in a report. “Bernanke disappointed with no confirmation of QE3 or details about its timing,” the report stated. But the price fall was limited as Bernanke’s speech “was very monetary policy-heavy which many viewed as paving the way for another round of asset purchasing soon”.
In his highly anticipated speech, Bernanke defended the Fed’s interventions of the past four years and signalled he would be pushing for more when the Fed’s policy board meets in 12 days. “The economic situation is obviously far from satisfactory,” he said at the conference, adding that the central bank would provide additional policy accommodation “as needed” for economic growth in the world’s biggest oil-consuming country. – PT