Oil Prices Stabilise After Shedding 4% Previously 

Yemisi Izuora 
Oil prices stabilised on Thursday, after slumping as much as 4 per cent  in the previous session to nearly five-month lows on the back of a further buildup in U.S. crude stockpiles and worries about lower demand growth.

Brent crude futures were up 12 cents, or 0.2 per cent after shedding   3.7 per cent on Wednesday to settle at $59.97 a barrel, the international benchmark’s lowest close since January 28.

The U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were also 12 cents, or 0.2 per cent higher at $51.26. They ended 4.0 per cent lower in the previous session at $51.14 a barrel, the lowest close since January 14.

The U.S. Enetgy Information Administration  (EIA) on Wednesday reported domestic crude stockpiles rose unexpectedly for a second week in a row, climbing 2.2 million barrels last week after analysts had forecast a decrease of 481,000 barrels.

At 485.5 million barrels, U.S. commercial stocks were at their highest since July 2017 and about 8% above the five-year average for this time of year, it said.
On Tuesday, the EIA cut its forecasts for 2019 world oil demand growth.
The negative outlook is prompting hedge fund managers to exit oil positions at the fastest rate since the fourth quarter of 2018 due to increasing fears about the health of the global economy. 

Goldman Sachs said an uncertain macroeconomic outlook and volatile oil production from Iran and others could lead OPEC to roll over supply cuts. 

With the next meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) set for the end of June, the market is looking to whether the world’s major oil producers will prolong their supply cuts.

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The OPEC countries and non-member producers including Russia, have limited their oil output by 1.2 million barrels per day this year to prop up prices.

Meanwhile, the  energy minister of the United Arab Emirates, Suhail bin Mohammed al-Mazroui, said on Tuesday that OPEC members were close to reaching an agreement on continuing production cuts. 
“Fundamental uncertainty on the current and forward states of the global oil market is high,” Goldman said.
“We believe that this will lead the group to roll forward its current agreement, with likely no change to country level quotas given the difficulty in determining required production levels in coming months,” the bank’s analysts said.

Members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries are close to reaching an agreement on extending production cuts, the energy minister of the United Arab Emirates said on Tuesday.

Energy Minister Suhail bin Mohammed al-Mazroui speaking at a public forum said that given existing oil inventories the output curbs should remain in place or be extended “at least until the end of the year.” 


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