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Oil prices hit 2019 highs amid supply cuts, trade talk hopes

The Address | Benghazi – Libya

SINGAPORE – Oil prices on Monday hit their highest levels since November last year, lifted by OPEC-led supply cuts, U.S. sanctions on Iran and Venezuela, and hopes that the Sino-U.S. trade dispute may soon end.

International Brent crude futures were at $66.66 per barrel at 0746 GMT, up 41 cents, or 0.6 percent, from their last close. Brent earlier climbed to its highest since November 2018 at $66.78 a barrel.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures were at $56.07 per barrel, up 48 cents, or 0.9 percent, from their close. WTI prices also rose to their highest since November, at $56.13 per barrel, earlier on Monday.

Prices have been bolstered by a tightening market because of supply cuts organized by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and some non-affiliated producers like Russia. The group of producer countries agreed late last year to cut output by 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) to prevent a large supply overhang from swelling.

Further supporting crude prices have been U.S. sanctions against oil exporters and OPEC-members Iran and Venezuela.

Financial markets, including crude futures, were also generally supported by hopes that the United States and China would soon resolve their trade disputes, which have dragged on global economic growth.

“OPEC production cuts and U.S. sanctions on both Iran and Venezuela are limiting supply. Trade tensions which have weighed on global growth are showing signs of easing boosting sentiment across markets and lifting oil demand prospects,” said Jasper Lawler, head of research at futures brokerage London Capital Group.

Reuters

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