MTECHTIPS;-Oil steady in quiet holiday season trade; supply

MTECHTIPS;-Oil steady in quiet holiday season trade; supply cut deal to kick in Jan 1

MTECHTIPS- Oil prices were little changed on Tuesday in light pre-New Year holiday trading with markets adopting a wait-and-see stance less than a week before the first output cut deal agreed between OPEC and non-OPEC members in 15 years is scheduled to kick in. Jan. 1. brings the official start of the deal agreed by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and non-OPEC members to lower production by almost 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd). London Brent crude for February delivery (LCOc1) was down 5 cents at $55.11 a barrel by 0732 GMT (2.32 a.m. ET). The contract stood about 5 percent below a 17-month high of $57.89 hit on Dec. 12 after non-OPEC members agreed to make a concerted effort with OPEC to tame a global supply glut that has squeezed prices. NYMEX crude for February delivery (CLc1) was up 6 cents at $53.08 a barrel, after closing at a 17-month high on Friday. Oil markets were closed on Monday after Christmas at the weekend. “OPEC’s output cuts are nearing, but because there’s hardly any news on producers, the market is stuck in the doldrums,” said Tomographic senior economist at Mitsubishi UFJ Research and Consulting in Tokyo. While major OPEC members led by Saudi Arabia, are set to cut output, Libya and Nigeria – exempt because armed conflict has curbed their output – have been increasing production recently,