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Oil prices steady as Saudi Arabia indicates prolonged supply cuts

Concerns that US tariffs on Mexico would dent crude demand limited gains

Laila Kearney | Reuters  |  New York 

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prices steadied on Monday, supported by Saudi Arabia's comments indicating and its allies would continue to tighten the market following deep losses last week.

Concerns that US tariffs on would dent demand limited gains.

signaled that the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec), together with Russia, would continue managing global supplies to avoid a surplus.

"We will do what is needed to sustain market stability beyond June. To me, that means drawing down inventories from their currently elevated levels," Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih was quoted as saying by the Saudi-owned Arab newspaper.

Front-month Brent crude futures gained 1 cent to $62.00 a barrel by 10:38 a.m. GMT (1438 GMT). Prices dropped by more than 3% on Friday, with May recording the biggest monthly loss in six months.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose 32 cents to $53.82 a barrel.

"There's no doubt that has shown a lot of frustration with the price of oil," said Phil Flynn, an analyst at Price Futures Group in "They're scratching their heads, saying, 'Hey, we think the market has it wrong and to prove that's the case, we're going to keep cutting production until the market gets it right.'"

Brent crude prices have dropped almost 20% from their 2018 peak as global supplies tighten following output curbs by and Russia, as well as a reduction in Iranian and Venezuelan exports due to U.S. sanctions.

pumped 9.65 million barrels of per day (bpd) in May, a deeper cut than its production target under the global pact to reduce supply, a Saudi oil industry source said on Monday. The nation's output target under the OPEC-led pact is 10.3 million bpd.

A planned June 4 strike by Norwegian workers could also lead to tighter global supply and buttress prices, potentially cutting Norway's oil and gas output by about 440,000 barrels of oil equivalents per day if mediation efforts fail.

Concerns that a U.S.-trade war, and threats of tariffs on from the United States, would diminish global crude demand, however, weighed on

"Focus has shifted from the supply to the demand side as a U.S.-trade agreement has proven elusive and as worries over the debilitating effects of tariffs on global economic growth have now shifted to Mexico," Jim Ritterbusch of Ritterbusch and Associates said in a note.

High-level talks were set to begin on Monday between Mexican and U.S. officials.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, June 03 2019. 23:09 IST
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