MTECHTIPS;-Oil within sight of 17-month highs amid optimism over

MTECHTIPS;-Oil within sight of 17-month highs amid optimism over supply cuts

MTECHTIPS- Oil prices were higher on Tuesday, rising towards the strongest level in a year-and-a-half amid optimism that major oil producers will stick to their agreement to cut production in the coming months. Crude oil for February delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange tacked on 53 cents, or 1.0%, to $53.55 a barrel by 10:15 AM ET (15:15 GMT), within sight of a one-and-a-half-year peak of $54.51 logged on December 12. Elsewhere, Brent oil for March delivery on the ICE Futures Exchange in London eased up 49 cents, or 0.9%, to $56.39 a barrel, not far from a 17-month high of $57.89 touched earlier this month. The oil market was closed on Monday due to the Christmas holiday. Trading activity was likely to stay subdued as many investors already closed books before the end of the year, reducing liquidity in the market. OPEC members agreed to reduce output by a combined 1.2 million barrels per day starting from January 1, their first such deal since 2008. The pact was followed by an agreement from 11 non-OPEC producers, led by Russia, to cut their supplies by 558,000 barrels a day, bringing the total to almost 1.8 million barrels per day