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Oil Trades Near $62 as Shale Fears Counter OPEC Supply Curb


February 18, 2018 by Heesu Lee

(Bloomberg)

Oil traded near $62 a barrel on concerns an increase in American drilling may undermine OPEC’s efforts to drain a global glut.

Futures were little changed in New York after rising 4.2 percent last week as equity markets rebounded and a weakening dollar boosted demand for commodities. U.S. drillers boosted the number of rigs exploring oil to the highest since April 2015, Baker Hughes said last week. Hedge funds cut bets on rising West Texas Intermediate oil prices by the most since October.

While crude has clawed back some of its losses following a risk-asset rout earlier this month, it’s still struggling to recover to its recent high in January as concerns continue to loom over a resurgence in U.S. output. Meanwhile, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies including Russia are looking at ways to “ institutionalize” their cooperation beyond the end of supply cuts deals later this year, according to the United Arab Emirates energy minister.

WTI for March delivery was at $61.81 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 9:13 a.m. in Seoul, up 13 cents. Prices climbed $2.48 to $61.68 last week after plunging almost 10 percent a week earlier. Total volume traded was about 7.9 percent below the 100-day average.

Brent for April settlement added 22 cents to $65.06 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The contract rose $2.05, or 3.3 percent, to $64.84 last week. The global benchmark traded at a $3.35 premium to April WTI.



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