Oil holds near 3-month high as Saudi curbs temper growth worries

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Published: February 20, 2019 5:00:02 PM

Facing a surge in U.S. shale flows, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies started a fresh round of supply curbs last month that have helped push oil around 24 percent higher this year.

oil prices, Saudi Arabia, OPEC, West Texas Intermediate, ICE Futures Europe exchange, global growthFacing a surge in U.S. shale flows, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies started a fresh round of supply curbs last month that have helped push oil around 24 percent higher this year. (Reuters)

Oil held near a three-month high as production cuts by Saudi Arabia tempered concerns a trade war between the world’s two biggest economies will continue to weigh on the global growth outlook. Futures were steady in New York, after gaining around 7 percent since Feb. 11. The Saudis went beyond pledged output reductions in January, but only 10 of 21 nations in the OPEC+ coalition fully complied with the agreed cuts that are aimed at shrinking a global glut, according to Bloomberg estimates. U.S.-China negotiations resumed Tuesday ahead of a March 1 deadline for higher American tariffs on the Asian country’s goods.

Facing a surge in U.S. shale flows, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies started a fresh round of supply curbs last month that have helped push oil around 24 percent higher this year. While Russia was among the countries that were behind on committed cuts, Moscow’s willingness to continue cooperating with Riyadh in stabilizing the market has aided gains.

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“Oil’s rally has mainly been driven by OPEC+ production curbs, especially with Saudi Arabia’s determination to push prices higher,” said Ahn Yea Ha, a commodities analyst at Kiwoom Securities Co. in Seoul. There’s growing optimism the U.S. and China can resolve their trade conflict, she said.
West Texas Intermediate for March delivery, which expires Wednesday, added 7 cents to $56.16 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 7:48 a.m. in London. It gained 0.9 percent on Tuesday to close at the highest level since Nov. 19. The more-active April contract rose 13 cents to $56.58.

Brent for April settlement dropped 1 cent to $66.44 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The contract lost 5 cents to settle at $66.45 on Tuesday, snapping a five-day rally. The global benchmark crude was at a $9.85 premium over WTI for the same month.

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