Daily The Business

Oil prices rise on Asian stock rally, OPEC-led cuts

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SINGAPORE: Oil prices climbed by around 1 percent on Wednesday amid a stock market rebound and on expectations that an OPEC-led output cut for 2019 would stabilise the supply-demand balance.

Disruptions to Libyan crude exports after local militia seized the country’s biggest oilfield, El Sharara, were also buoying prices, traders said.International Brent crude oil futures were at $60.86 per barrel at 0543 GMT, up 66 cents, or 1.1 percent, from their last close.U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $52.22 per barrel, up 57 cents, or 1.1 percent.

The higher prices came amid an increase in Asian share markets on Wednesday.U.S. President Donald Trump told Reuters in an interview on Tuesday that talks with China were taking place to defuse the trade dispute between the world’s two biggest economies.Despite Tuesday’s more confident market, analysts warned of an economic slowdown.

“The global economy is set to cool in 2019-20, as rising interest rates and inflation begin to limit consumption in major developed economies, and market uncertainty weakens the fundamentals in emerging markets,” the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) said in its latest outlook.British bank Barclays said in its 2019 commodities outlook that “the major risk to the near-term outlook relates to a faster-than-expected deterioration in economic activity”.

In oil market fundamentals, a decision by the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and some non-OPEC producers including Russia last week to cut supply by 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) has supported prices this week.Crude prices had lost a third of their value between early October and the announcement of the cuts. Some analysts warn, though, that the agreement may not have the effect hoped for.Undermining the supply cuts is soaring output in the United States, where crude production has hit a record 11.7 million bpd.

The United States is set to end 2018 as the world’s top oil producer, ahead of Russia and Saudi Arabia, with the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) saying on Tuesday the nation’s annualized average output would be 10.88 million bpd for the full year.The 2018 output increase would be 1.53 million bpd, the EIA said, adding that it expected production to average an unprecedented 12.06 million bpd in 2019.

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