MTECHTIPS;-Crude Oil Futures – Weekly Outlook: March 20 – 24

MTECHTIPS;-Crude Oil Futures – Weekly Outlook: March 20 – 24

MTECHTIPS-Oil futures settled a few pennies higher on Friday, tallying their first weekly gain in three weeks amid expectations that global crude producers will extend their agreement to cut output beyond June. The U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude April contract inched up 3 cents to $48.78 a barrel by close of trade Friday, bouncing back after hitting its weakest since November 30 at $47.09 on Tuesday. For the week, the U.S. benchmark rose 29 cents, or around 0.6%, snapping a two-week losing streak. Elsewhere, on the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oil for May delivery tacked on 2 cents to settle at $51.76 a barrel by close of trade. The global benchmark fell to $50.25 on Tuesday, its cheapest since November 30. London-traded Brent futures recorded a gain of 39 cents, or about 0.8%, on the week, the first weekly increase in three. Oil found some support after Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said on Thursday the cuts by OPEC and non-OPEC countries could be extended beyond June if stockpiles stayed above a long-term average. OPEC and non-OPEC producers such as Russia agreed in November last year to reduce output by almost 1.8 million barrels per day to 32.5 million for the first six months of 2017, but so far the move has had little impact on inventory levels. OPEC’s latest monthly report showed global oil stocks in January rose to 278 million barrels above the five-year average. A poll of market analysts showed on Friday that OPEC will have to extend its oil output curbs beyond June as a revival in crude production outside the group, specifically in the U.S., may scupper its efforts to erode an overhang of unused inventory

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