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Oil prices hit 3-month high on Opec cuts, US sanctions on Iran, Venezuela

Opec, as well as some non-affiliated producers like Russia, agreed late last year to cut output by 1.2 million barrels per day to prevent a large supply overhang from swelling more

Reuters  |  Singapore 

Oil hits three-month high on OPEC cuts, U.S. sanctions on Iran, Venezuela

rose to their highest levels since November last year on Monday, lifted by Opec-led supply cuts and on Iran and Venezuela.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) oil futures pushed through $56 per barrel for the first time this year, hitting $56.13 a barrel before edging back to $56.02 a barrel by 0112 GMT, still up 0.8 per cent from their last settlement.

futures hit a high of $66.78 per barrel before easing to $66.65 per barrel, up 0.6 per cent from their last close.

For both benchmarks, these were their highest levels since November 20, 2018.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec), as well as some non-affiliated producers like Russia, agreed late last year to cut output by 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) to prevent a large supply overhang from swelling more.

Further pushing up prices have been against oil exporters and Opec-members Iran and Venezuela.

Traders said financial markets, including crude futures, were also generally supported by hopes that the United States and China would soon resolve their trade disputes, which have dragged on global economic growth.

"Positive signs in the US-China trade talks helped boost sentiment across markets," ANZ bank said on Monday.

At least partly offsetting supply falls has been a surge in by more than 2 million bpd in 2018, to a record 11.9 million bpd.

And there are signs that US output will rise further.

US energy firms last week increased the number of oil rigs looking for new production by three, to a total of 857, energy services firm Baker Hughes said in a weekly report last Friday. RIG-OL-USA-

That means the US rig count is higher than a year ago when fewer than 800 rigs were active.

First Published: Mon, February 18 2019. 08:25 IST
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