[SINGAPORE] Oil prices bounced back in Asia Friday after diving to fresh lows in the previous session on expectations that OPEC is unlikely to cut production levels to counter a global supply glut.
US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for December delivery rose seven cents to US$74.28 while Brent crude for January gained 38 cents to US$77.87 in afternoon trade.
WTI plunged US$2.97 in New York trade Thursday, while Brent crude for December dived US$2.46 in London on the last day of the contract.
Singapore's United Overseas Bank said the settlement prices for both contracts on Thursday were the lowest since September 2010.
Ric Spooner, chief market analyst at CMC Markets in Sydney, said despite the slight rise in prices during Asian trading hours Friday "the key driver is still bearish sentiment about any possible OPEC production cut".
"Rightly or wrongly, we are seeing price adjustments in anticipation of OPEC not doing anything about global oversupply, or not doing enough," Spooner told AFP.
Concerns about a global glut were exacerbated after the Department of Energy said Thursday the country produced 9.063 million barrels a day in the week ended November 7, the most since at least January 1983 when it began publishing data.
US crude reserves at the oil hub in Cushing, Oklahoma, which are closely watched by traders because they serve as reference for WTI traded in New York, jumped 1.7 million barrels last week to 22.5 million.
Dealers are largely expecting the 12-nation Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to decide against reducing output to stem limit a global supply glut, in part caused by a flood of oil extracted from shale rock in the US.
OPEC's next meeting is set for November 27 in Vienna, home to the cartel's headquarters.