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Brent nears $60/bbl as supply cuts, others lift prices

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Oil prices were boosted by supply cuts among key producers and hopes for further U.S. economic stimulus measures to boost demand, with Brent Futures nearing $60 a barrel on Monday.

Reuters reported that Brent crude for April touched a high of $59.95 a barrel and was at $59.85 by 0041 GMT, up 51 cents, or 0.9%. Front-month prices last hit $60 on Feb. 20, 2020.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures advanced 54 cents, or 1%, to $57.39 a barrel, the highest since January last year.

“A weak U.S. jobs report boosted hopes of further stimulus measures,” ANZ analysts said, adding that energy products and industrial metals benefited from an increased appetite for risk among investors.

A weaker dollar against most currencies on Monday also supported commodities, with dollar-denominated commodities becoming more affordable to holders of other currencies.

Global markets are however being balanced by Saudi Arabia’s pledge of extra supply cuts in February and March on the back of reductions by other members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, including Russia.

In a sign that prompt supplies are tightening, the six-month Brent spread settled at $2.33 on Friday after hitting a high of $2.44, its widest in a year.

Still, stronger crude prices are encouraging U.S. producers to increase output, while anti-coronavirus lockdowns across parts of Europe and Asia are keeping a lid on fuel demand, analysts said.

The U.S. oil rig count, an early indicator of future output, rose to its highest since May last week, according to energy services firm Baker Hughes Co. [RIG/U]

 

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