26 October 2016

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Reuters: Oil prices firm on potential producer action to prop up market

Oil prices edged up early on Monday and have risen more than 10% since the start of the month as speculation intensifies about potential producer action to support prices in an oversupplied market, according to Reuters.


International Brent crude oil futures were trading at $47.13 per barrel at 0100 GMT (09:00 p.m. EDT), up 16 cents from their last settlement, and over 10% above the last close in July, Reuters wrote.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $44.67 a barrel, up 18 cents from their last close.

"Oil posted another ... gain as speculation of potential production freezes by OPEC picked up pace. Saudi Arabia signaled that it is prepared to discuss stabilizing the markets at informal OPEC discussions next month," ANZ bank said on Monday, according to the report. 

"This was despite another strong rise in drilling activity in the U.S. ... Baker Hughes data showed the number of rigs operating in the U.S. rose by 15 last week to 396," it added.

Meanwhile, an aggressive fight by producers for Asian market share, especially in the Middle East, share is ongoing.

Iran's crude exports to South Korea rose in July to nearly four times the level of a year ago, and 5.9% higher than the previous month, after international sanctions were lifted on Tehran's disputed nuclear program, according to the report. 

On the demand side, however, there were worries which traders said were preventing prices from rising further.

The world's three biggest economies, the United States, China and Japan, all published downbeat economic data between Friday and Monday, casting doubt that strong growth will return soon, Reuters wrote. 

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