Oil prices edge up as OPEC says its crude output fell sharply in December

An oil well on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation near Mandaree, in the US state of North Dakota is shown in this file photo. (AP Photo/Matthew Brown, File)
Updated 18 January 2019
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Oil prices edge up as OPEC says its crude output fell sharply in December

  • OPEC cut oil output sharply in December before a new accord to limit supply took effect on Jan. 1

SYDNEY, Australia: US oil prices inched higher on Friday after a report from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries showed its production fell sharply last month, easing fears about prolonged oversupply.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $52.40 per barrel at 0026 GMT, up 32 cents, or 0.6 percent, from their last settlement. WTI futures closed down 0.4 percent on Thursday.
International Brent crude oil futures had yet to trade, after closing up 1.1 percent in the previous session.
OPEC cut oil output sharply in December before a new accord to limit supply took effect on Jan. 1, it said on Thursday, suggesting that producers have made a strong start to averting a glut in 2019 as a slowing economy curbs demand.
“The OPEC+ production cuts (that stared this month) will be paramount to keeping the market tight and supporting prices,” ANZ said in a research note. The body is making cuts along with other major producers such as Russia.
OPEC said in its monthly report that its oil output fell by 751,000 barrels per day (bpd) in December to 31.58 million bpd, the biggest month-on-month drop in almost two years.
But tempering that support for prices, OPEC also cut its forecast for average daily demand for its crude in 2019 to 30.83 million barrels, down 910,000 bpd from the 2018 average.


WTO warns of global trade slowdown as indicator hits 9-year low

Updated 3 min 23 sec ago
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WTO warns of global trade slowdown as indicator hits 9-year low

  • The WTO’s quarterly outlook indicator showed a reading of 96.3, the weakest since March 2010
  • A reading below 100 signals below-trend growth in trade

GENEVA: A quarterly leading indicator of world merchandise trade slumped to its lowest reading in nine years on Tuesday, which should put policymakers on guard for a sharper slowdown if trade tensions continue, the World Trade Organization said on Tuesday.
The WTO’s quarterly outlook indicator, a composite of seven drivers of trade, showed a reading of 96.3, the weakest since March 2010 and down from 98.6 in November. A reading below 100 signals below-trend growth in trade.