Brent edges up after 3-days of losses; Federal Reserve eyed

Sun Oct 27, 2013 10:27pm EDT

Related Topics

* Investors eye Federal Reserve's Oct 29-30 meeting

* Fed likely to stand pat on monetary policy

* Brent oil to rebound to $107.65 -technicals

TOKYO, Oct 28 (Reuters) - Brent crude futures edged up to above $107 a barrel in cautious early Asia trade on Monday, taking a break after three days of losses as investors wait on the U.S. Federal Reserve's policy meeting later this week.

Brent fell 2.7 percent last week, its biggest weekly decline in a month, amid concerns about higher supply and faltering demand, despite signs of faster economic growth in major consumer China.

London Brent crude for December delivery was trading 27 cents higher at $107.20 a barrel by 0157 GMT, after settling down 6 cents on Friday. U.S. crude for December delivery was down 14 cents at $97.71 a barrel.

The U.S. Federal Reserve's two-day policy meeting from Tuesday will be closely watched, but is unlikely to lead to any shift in monetary policy as the bank waits for more evidence of how badly Washington's budget battle has hurt the U.S. economy.

Analysts say the Fed could stand pat for the rest of the year as economic data released since a partial government shutdown ended has been surprisingly weak. Job growth slowed in September, a period that preceded the government's 16-day partial shutdown, and business investment plans flagged.

"It looks like we are getting farther and farther away from the tapering of U.S. easing," said Ken Hasegawa, a commodity sales manager at Newedge Japan.

"When there was a near consensus that the tapering should begin from around November, the market easily made one-sided bets, but now we don't know whether that happens by the end of the year, so the market is hard to move in either direction in light trading."

Brent oil is expected to rebound to $107.65 per barrel, as it has completed a five-wave cycle, according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.

IRAN TALKS

The market will also keep an eye on talks between experts from Iran and six world powers on Oct. 30-31 to prepare the next round of high-level talks on the contested Iranian nuclear programme with hopes of a breakthrough rising thanks to a diplomatic opening from Tehran.

Western diplomats say the meeting, scheduled to take place a week before the next round of negotiations in Geneva in November, could be instrumental in defining the contours of any preliminary agreement on Iran's uranium enrichment campaign.

Iran has not halted its most sensitive uranium enrichment work, a senior Iranian parliamentarian said on Saturday, contradicting a statement by another lawmaker last week.

Any halt of enrichment would be a big surprise, as Western experts believe Iran would want to use such activity as a bargaining chip to win relief from international sanctions.

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