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US oil retreats from 2019 high on soaring production

Published : Sunday, 17 March, 2019 at 12:00 AM  Count : 27

NEW YORK, March 16: US crude futures eased slightly on Friday after hitting a 2019 high, as worries about the global economy and robust US production put a brake on prices.
West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures settled down 9 cents at $58.52 a barrel, having hit their highest so far this year at $58.95.
Brent crude futures settled down 7 cents at $67.16 a barrel, below their 2019 peak of $68.14 reached on Thursday. US crude ended the week 4.1 per cent higher, and Brent was up 1.9 per cent.
"The market is taking a pause as it tries to digest mixed reports that give us different ideas of future supply and demand," said Phil Flynn, an analyst at Price Futures group in Chicago. "The OPEC-plus meeting could give us a little direction," he said.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies including Russia, an alliance known as OPEC+, agreed last year to cut production, partly in response to increased US shale output.
OPEC+ ministers will meet on April 17-18 to decide production policy.
"If OPEC+ decide to extend (cuts) ... we expect that inventories will continue to draw through at least Q3," US investment bank Jefferies said.
The International Energy Agency said on Friday that the market could show a modest surplus in the first quarter of 2019 before flipping into a deficit in the second quarter by about 0.5 million barrels per day (bpd).
It said a comfortable supply cushion by OPEC could prevent any price rally in case of possible disruptions and that non-OPEC oil output growth led by the United States should ensure demand is met.    -Reuters





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