Oil rises to six-week high on hope of extended Opec cuts

Tokyo — 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 was up 26c, or 0.4%, at $62.85 a barrel by 3.49am GMT, while US crude was 27c, or 0.5%, higher at $58.12 a barrel. Brent touched its highest since August 1, while US crude rose to the highest since July 31.

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

Prince Abdulaziz, a long-time member of the Saudi delegation to the Organisation 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 a 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 US-China trade war rumbles on.

Executives at the annual Asia Pacific petroleum conference said on Monday they expect oil prices in 2019 to be pressurised by uncertainties surrounding the global economy, the US-China trade war and increasing US supplies.

In the US, crude stockpiles are likely to have fallen for a fourth consecutive week last week, a preliminary Reuters poll showed on Monday. Five analysts estimated, on average, that crude inventories fell 2.6-million barrels in the week to September 6.


Source: businesslive.co.za