Oil down in Asian trade

Oil was down in Asia on Tuesday as traders took profits following recent gains and ahead of the May Day holiday, analysts said.

New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in June, dropped eight cents to $94.42 a barrel in the afternoon and Brent North Sea crude for June delivery shed 22 cents to $103.59.

"Prices are slightly lower but holding steady.... We're also seeing some minor profit-taking after yesterday's gains," Victor Shum, managing director of IHS Purvin and Gertz in Singapore, told AFP.

Oil prices finished higher on Monday amid expectations that monetary easing policies of major central banks would remain in place during meetings this week, and that the European Central Bank could even cut its key rate to boost growth.