By CHIKA IZUORA, Lagos with agency report
Oil prices increased yesterday after Saudi Arabia said the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Russia were likely to keep withholding supplies, and in relief that the United States and Mexico averted a trade war that would have damaged the global economy.
Front-month Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil prices, were at $63.71 which represents 42 cents, or 0.7 per cent, above Friday’s close. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $54.43 per barrel, 44 cents, or 0.8 per cent, above their last settlement.
Traders said crude prices were rising because of statements by OPEC’s de-facto leader Saudi Arabia on Friday saying that the group was close to agreeing on extended supply cuts.
“With a production cut extension now sounding more likely than not, it should be incredibly supportive for oil prices,” said Stephen Innes, managing partner at Vanguard Markets.
The OPEC and some non-members, including Russia, known collectively as OPEC+, have withheld supplies since the start of the year to prop up prices.
“Also with the Mexican stalemate averted and no harmful shockwaves from this weekend G-20 meeting, risk assets should open with a bounce in their step and oil could trade favourably as WTI and Brent will continue to track the broader risk environment high,” Innes said.
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