Oil prices edge higher as Saudi reassurances stem decline

Oil Flirts With Bear Market as Trump Fans Growth Fears on TradeMore

Oil Flirts With Bear Market as Trump Fans Growth Fears on TradeMore

With output cuts in place, emerging consensus within the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies to extend a cap on production, and geopolitical worries, prices are seen rising nearly 10% in the near term.

Sechin-who has criticized Russia's involvement in the deal in the past-questioned the Russian rationale of sticking to the cuts, saying that the US would take market share out of Russia if the OPEC+ deal is extended.

Front-month Brent crude futures were at $62.48 at 1026 GMT, up $0.49, or 0.79%, above Friday's close.

"Yesterday's upswing on the back of rising stock markets was halted by an unexpectedly sharp rise in US crude oil and product stocks", Commerzbank said.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $53.08 per barrel, down 17 cents, or 0.3%, from their last settlement.

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Brent futures were up 49 cents, or 0.8 per cent, at $61.77 a barrel by 12:16 p.m. EDT.

Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh, in a letter seen by Reuters, said he disagreed with an OPEC proposal to reschedule the meeting to early July.

The ongoing trade war with China has been a prominent factor in the recent slide, causing many investors to sell off energy amid concerns that the U.S.

"Does it make sense (for Russia) to reduce (oil output) if the U.S immediately takes (our) market share?"

OPEC produces some 40 percent of the worldwide demand for crude oil. "Nevertheless, the escalating trade war of the United States with China, the European Union and Mexico will cap price gains in the run-up to the OPEC+ meeting".

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The prospect of a cut in Norway's oil and gas output of about 440,000 barrels of oil equivalents per day, or about 11% of total production, if workers go on strike from June 4 also supported prices.

Underlining concerns about oversupply, the head of oil giant Rosneft Igor Sechin said on Tuesday that Russian Federation should pump at will and that he would seek compensation from the government if cuts were extended. OPEC's de-facto leader Saudi Arabia said on Monday a consensus was emerging for continued cuts in the second half of the year to ensure market stability.

"The stock build does not help sentiment in the current market environment", ING bank said.

Saudi Arabi, however, boosted its oil production to keep OPEC's commitments to the market by maintaining an overall steady output for the cartel, keeping supplies mostly unaffected.

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