Oil rebounds in Asian trade as 'fear factor' eases

SINGAPORE, May 26, 2010 (AFP) - Oil prices rebounded in Asian trade Wednesday, taking their lead from strong performances in regional stock markets, analysts said.

New York's main futures contract, light sweet crude for delivery in July, gained 78 cents to 69.53 dollars a barrel.

Brent North Sea crude for July delivery advanced 31 cents to 69.86 dollars.

Crude prices headed up as investors were heartened by strong performances by Asian bourses which rebounded Wednesday on bargain hunting after huge losses the previous session, analysts said.

"Oil is taking its cue from equities," said Victor Shum, senior principal of Purvin and Gertz energy consultants in Singapore.

Traders were buying into the market following a dive in Asian stock markets on Tuesday, Shum added.

"The fear factor that drove markets plunging down yesterday has subsided, therefore we are seeing equities and oil prices heading up.... Enough investors felt it was oversold," he told AFP.

Rising tensions on the Korean peninsula and fears that the European debt crisis could torpedo economic recovery had sent Asian stock markets plummeting Tuesday.

Shum warned that oil prices could remain volatile until the issues are resolved.

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