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Brent nears $70 as oil prices rise for fourth day

The Address | Benghazi – Libya

LONDON – Oil prices rose for a fourth day on Wednesday, pushing Brent toward a nearly five-month high of $70 a barrel as support from OPEC-led supply cuts and U.S. sanctions overshadowed a report showing an unexpected rise in U.S. inventories.

Brent futures gained 38 cents, or 0.55 percent, to $69.75 by 0900 GMT. They earlier reached $69.96 – the highest since Nov. 12, when they last traded above $70.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude rose 20 cents or 0.32 percent to $62.78, having hit $62.99, the highest since Nov. 7.

“The psychologically important $70 a barrel threshold has proved a tough nut to crack for the Brent benchmark over the past few weeks,” PVM oil broker Stephen Brennock said.

“Underpinning this latest bout of upward pricing pressures is the positive afterglow from surveys pointing to another sizeable fall last month in OPEC output. Reduced supplies from the producer group will go a long way to cementing the tighter fundamental backdrop.”

Oil prices have been supported for much of 2019 by efforts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies such as Russia, who have pledged to withhold around 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) of supply this year.

Supply from OPEC countries hit a four-year low in March, a Reuters survey found this week.

Reuters

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