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Oil prices firmed on Friday as market sentiment was lifted by a report that OPEC could extend production cuts in order to have a significant impact on a global fuel oversupply.

Brent crude futures traded up 8 cents from their last settlement at $55.73 per barrel. Meanwhile, U.S. WTI crude futures rose 7 cents at $53.43 per barrel.

The producer cartel and other producers have reached an accord last year to lower their production by the first half of the year, and have managed to have around 90% compliance rate of the agreed upon 1.8 million bpd cut. The reductions were made to curb the oil glut that has persisted in oil markets since 2014.

Still, inventories continued to swell and supplies high despite these actions, particularly in the U.S. Last week, crude inventories surged by 9.5 million barrels, almost threefold of analysts estimate. Gasoline stocks added 2.8 million bpd during the same period, contrary to the seen 752, 000 barrel decline.

In order to further aid in rebalancing the market, OPEC sources told Reuters that the pact could be extended if all major exporters fully complied to the agreement. Traders stated that until more details regarding a possible extension of production cuts was attained, oil prices' gains would be limited.

Related news

2018.02.26 03:14:00 UTC+00

Samsung Launches Galaxy S9 Smartphone

Samsung Electronics Co Ltd. launched its Galaxy S9 smartphone, which has more focus on visual applications for social media, hoping to entice younger generation consumers who are tech savvy to weather a market slump.

Smartphone makers, which are set to stay flat or even contract following slow growth of one percent in 2017, are now putting their emphasis on features designed to attract consumers to let go of their old mobile devices earlier than they would have previously.

Samsung unveiled its flagship phone at the mobile gadget fair in Barcelona on Sunday, attracting a large number of reporters who wanted to see how the South Korean tech giant could innovate in a category which the big players are technologically neck-to-neck than ever.

Samsung's president of IT and mobile communications, DJ Koh, said that the most important function of a mobile phone today was “visual communication” and the Galaxy S9 has been created with the visual and social generation in mind.

The S9 features improved cameras, an AI-powered voice tool and social media functions that are easier to use than prior offerings. Two versions of Galaxy s9 were released and will go on sale on March 16 in most countries.

Oil dropped to $66 a barrel on Friday, under pressure from concerns that rising U.S. oil output and exports will offset OPEC-led attempts to erode stockpiles with output curbs.

U.S. oil production last week was steady at 10.27 million barrels per day, a record level if confirmed by monthly figures. Crude exports jumped to more than 2 million bpd, close to a record 2.1 million hit in October.

Brent crude, the global benchmark, was down 45 cents at $65.94 at 1052 GMT. Prices had rallied in early 2018 and reached $71.28 on Jan. 25, the highest since December 2014. U.S. crude fell 34 cents to $62.43.

Oil also slipped as the U.S. dollar strengthened. A stronger dollar can make oil and other commodities denominated in the U.S. currency more expensive for other currency holders.

The latest decline for crude came despite the U.S. Energy Information Administration reporting crude stocks fell unexpectedly by 1.6 million barrels. Analysts said low import figures contributed to the decline.

U.S. production is expected to rise even more this year and top 11 million bpd in late 2018, a headwind for OPEC efforts to drain stockpiles.

However, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is not outwardly worried by rising U.S. output and says it is comfortable at the speed the market is moving toward balance.

In January 2017, OPEC and allies including Russia began to cut production by about 1.8 million bpd, almost 2 percent of global supply, to get rid of a glut that had built up since 2014 and that led to a price collapse.

OPEC wants to reduce oil inventories held by industrialized nations to their five-year average and is getting closer to that goal, although officials are starting to talk about looking at different metrics.

2018.02.23 12:07:00 UTC+00

Dollar Climbs as Global Stocks Remain Muted

A stronger dollar and slightly higher global borrowing costs kept world shares subdued on Friday.

Europe's main London, Frankfurt and Paris markets barely budged in early moves, keeping MSCI's 47- country world index just in the black on the day but facing its third week in negative territory in the last four.

Modest gains for the dollar meant the euro was set to post its second biggest weekly loss in nearly four months, as caution over the Italian election gave bond markets there their toughest week of 2018.

U.S. yields are climbing by more than 50 basis points since early December, more than the 38 basis points for German government debt.

Benchmark Treasury 10-year note yields rose to a four-year high of 2.957 percent on Wednesday though they were a shade down at 2.904 percent on Friday.

The backsliding also stalled the dollar's overnight gains in Asia. It was virtually treading water against most major currencies, buying 106.8 yen and at $1.2325 and $1.3965 against the euro and pound.

It was still up more than 1 percent for the week and headed for its third gain in the last four weeks.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.9 percent on Friday to add to the previous week's 3.9 percent gain.


See also: Current support and resistance levels
EUR/USD
GBP/USD
USD/JPY
GBP/JPY
EUR/CHF
AUD/USD
Feb 26 at 3:23 UTC

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