MTECHTIPS:-Crude gains in Asia in relief rally after France election

MTECHTIPS:-Crude gains in Asia in relief rally after France election outcome

Crude prices gained in Asia on Monday in a relief rally after the French election went widely as expected, pitting centrist Emmanuel Macron and far-right leader Marine Le Pen in a May 7 runoff. Key challengers in the race threw support behind Macron for the runoff, with markets widely expecting him to win. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude June contract rose 0.44% to $49.84 a barrel. Elsewhere, on the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oil for June delivery was last quoted up 0.53% to $52.72 a barrel. Last week, oil futures settled lower for the fifth session in a row on Friday, extending losses to the weakest level in around three weeks as signs of further gains in U.S. crude output pressured prices. U.S. drillers last week added rigs for the 14th week in a row, data from energy services company Baker Hughes showed on Friday, extending a 10-month drilling recovery. That brought the total count to 688, the most since September 2015, underlining concern that an ongoing rebound in U.S. shale production could derail efforts by other major producers to re balance global oil supply and demand. In November last year, OPEC and other producers, including Russia agreed to cut output by about 1.8 million barrels per day between January and June, but so far the move has had little impact on inventory levels. A final decision on whether or not to extend the deal beyond June will be taken by the oil cartel on May 25. In the week ahead, market participants will eye fresh weekly information on U.S. stockpiles of crude and refined products on Tuesday and Wednesday to gauge the strength of demand in the world’s largest oil consumer.
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