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Oil edges up amid OPEC cuts, U.S. sanctions on Iran and Venezuela

Reuters  |  SINGAPORE 

By Henning Gloystein

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - prices edged up on Tuesday amid OPEC-led supply cuts and U.S. and Venezuela, although surging U.S. production and concerns over economic growth kept markets in check.

U.S. Intermediate (WTI) futures were at $52.60 per barrel at 0043 GMT, up 19 cents, or 0.4 percent, from their last close.

International Brent crude futures had yet to trade.

Analysts warn that markets are tightening amid voluntary production cuts led by the Organization of the Exporting Countries (OPEC) and because of U.S. sanctions on and

But some said that supply-side risks were not receiving enough focus.

"We believe that is not in supply side risks lately as markets are currently focused on U.S.-trade talks, ignoring the risks currently in place from the loss of Venezuelan barrels," U.S. said in a weekly note.

Should U.S.-talks to end trade disputes between the two nations have a positive outcome, the said would "switch attention from macro concerns impacting future demand growth to physical tightness and geopolitical risks impacting immediate supply".

But surging U.S. supply and a potential economic slowdown this year could cap

"The worries of oversupply stemming from the U.S. will likely remain a dominant theme as we approach the warmer months," said Edward Moya, at

U.S. said the surge in U.S. crude oil production, which tends to be light in quality and which rose by more than 2 million barrels per day (bpd) last year to a record 11.9 million bpd, had resulted in overproduction of gasoline.

"Light crudes naturally yield more gasoline, and together with relatively modest demand-growth, this has driven gasoline stocks sharply higher and crack spreads sharply lower in recent months," said.

Refining profits for gasoline have plunged since mid-2018, going negative in and Europe, amid tepid demand growth and a surge in supply.

As a result, said "low refining margins and weaker economic data means can rally only so much (and) we continue to see modest upside for Brent to $65 per barrel in the second-half (of 2019)".

(For a graphic on U.S. & drilling levels, click here https://tmsnrt.rs/2Tm4u4I)

(Reporting by Henning Gloystein; Editing by Joseph Radford)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, February 12 2019. 06:21 IST
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