OIL PRICES: ABOVE $50
According to REUTERS, oil rose to its highest since August above $50 a barrel on Monday, supported by a planned production cut by exporter club OPEC, although analysts cautioned the stubbornness of the existing supply overhang could temper a longer-lasting rally.
December Brent crude futures LCOc1 were last up 42 cents at $50.61 a barrel by 0913 GMT, off a session low of $49.74, while U.S. crude futures CLc1 rose 37 cents to $48.61 a barrel, above the day's low at $47.78.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said last week it would cut output to between 32.5 million barrels per day (bpd) and 33.0 million bpd from about 33.5 million bpd, with details to be finalised at its policy meeting in November.
Initial scepticism last week over the effectiveness of the deal in eroding the global surplus gave way to a wave of short-covering that drove the price above $50 a barrel for the first time since late August on Monday.
"The lukewarm response to the OPEC deal from analysts (rightfully so) probably attracted some premature selling, with technical traders currently in the driving seat. Oil always runs ahead of itself and this time round is no exception," Saxo Bank manager Ole Hansen said, referring to the price rally.
OPEC's oil output is likely to reach 33.60 million bpd in September from a revised 33.53 million bpd in August, its highest in recent history, a Reuters survey found on Friday.
"Sentiment has been slightly dented by a Reuters survey Friday, showing that despite agreeing to cut production OPEC pumped crude in record amounts through September," said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at brokerage OANDA in Singapore.
Data last week from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission showed money managers raised their net long holdings of U.S. crude futures in the week to Sept. 27.
Analysts said there was downside risk to oil prices if the planned cut wasn't deep enough to bring production back in line with consumption.
"OPEC has created its own Q4 risk to oil prices ... In raising expectations of a November deal to cut production, it also risks a steep price decline should it fail to achieve its goal of cutting output back to less than 33 million bpd," Barclays said in a note to clients.
Despite that, the bank said it did not expect a repeat of the price crash seen late last year after a rally earlier in 2015, citing an improving Asian economic growth outlook, falling oil supplies and rising investor interest in oil markets as support factors.
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BLOOMBERG - Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told a Texas judge that Exxon Mobil Corp. doesn’t have a right to see privileged documents related to a $2 million fine assessed against the energy company for violating sanctions related to Russia’s 2014 invasion of Ukraine.
NPD - Preliminary production figures for June 2018 show an average daily production of 1 747 000 barrels of oil, NGL and condensate, which is an increase of 88 000 barrels per day compared to May.
NOVATEK - In the first half 2018, NOVATEK’s hydrocarbons production totaled 264.3 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe), including 32.93 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas and 5,864 thousand tons of liquids (gas condensate and crude oil), resulting in an increase in total hydrocarbons production by 6.3 million boe, or by 2.4%, as compared to the first half 2017.
REUTERS - Brent crude futures LCOc1 were down 75 cents, or 1 percent, at $78.11 a barrel by 0308 GMT, having fallen as low as $77.60. U.S. crude CLc1 was down 55 cents, or 0.7 percent, at $73.56.