Oil hits six-week high on hopes of extended OPEC cuts

Oil futures hit a six-week high on Tuesday, rising for a fifth day on optimism that OPEC and other countries may agree to extend production cuts in a bid to support prices.

Brent LCOc1 was up 26 cents, or 0.4 per cent, at 62.85 dollars a barrel by 0349 GMT, while U.S. crude CLc1 was 27 cents, or 0.5 per cent, higher at 58.12 dollars a barrel.

Brent touched its highest since August 1, while U.S. crude rose to the highest since July 31.

U.S. oil gained more than 2 per cent on Monday, while Brent finished the day 1.7 per cent higher as the market reacted to the appointment by Saudi Arabia’s king of his son, Abdulaziz bin Salman, as energy minister on Sunday.

Mr Abdulaziz, a long-time member of the Saudi delegation to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), said the pillars of Saudi Arabia’s policy would not change and a global deal to cut oil production by 1.2 million barrels per day would be maintained.

He added that the so-called OPEC+ alliance, made up of OPEC and non-OPEC countries including Russia, would be in place for the long term.

A meeting of OPEC and OPEC+ countries in Abu Dhabi this week “is stirring up hopes for additional supply cuts,” said Stephen Innes, Asia Pacific market strategist at AxiTrader.

Still, Russia’s oil output in August exceeded its quota under the OPEC+ agreements.

“Markets will need to see concrete progress on the production front, even as the world’s economy slows, to sustain gains,” said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at OANDA.

Should oil end Tuesday higher it will be the longest run of gains since late July but headwinds remain as the U.S.-China trade war rumbles on.

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Expectations

Executives at the annual Asia Pacific Petroleum Conference said on Monday they expect oil prices this year to be pressured by uncertainties surrounding the global economy, the U.S.-China trade war and increasing U.S. supplies.

In the United States, crude stockpiles are likely to have fallen for a fourth consecutive week last week, a preliminary Reuters’ poll showed on Monday.

Five analysts polled by Reuters estimated, on average, that crude inventories fell 2.6 million barrels in the week to September 6.

(Reuters/NAN)

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