OIL PRICES: $48
REUTERS wrote, oil prices remained near five-week highs on Tuesday, fueled by talk of producers taking action to prop up the market, although some investors cashed in during Asian hours on the 16 percent rally since early August.
Brent crude futures were trading at $48.35 per barrel at 0737 GMT (3:37 a.m. ET), flat from their last close, but over 15 percent higher than the $41.51 low for the month on Aug. 2.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude was trading at $45.76 a barrel, up 2 cents from its previous close, and still over 16 percent above its $39.19 monthly low from Aug. 3.
Traders said earlier price declines were the result of cashing in following the two-week long rally.
The gains were driven by expectations from investors that oil producers may take action, possibly freezing output, to rein in ballooning oversupply.
"Crude oil rose to a four-week high as speculation continued to mount that OPEC would discuss a potential cap on production at an upcoming meeting between the members of the group. Russia joined in, saying it was open to such talks as well," ANZ bank said.
Led by top exporter Saudi Arabia, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), has re-launched a debate about oil producers potentially capping soaring output in an effort to reduce a global overhang in production and inventories of crude oil and refined fuel products.
Many traders, however, voiced their doubts over OPEC's ability to agree amongst its divided members, and expect talks will fail just as they did in April.
Analysts also said that concerns over oil production in Venezuela were backing higher markets.
"News of an imminent collapse in oil output from Venezuela also supported prices," ANZ said.
Venezuela, which holds the world's largest crude oil reserves, is on track to suffer its steepest annual oil output drop in 14 years as it struggles with an economic and political crisis and years of underinvestment and mismanagement.
In the 12 months to June, Venezuela's crude output fell 9 percent to 2.36 million barrels per day (bpd), and trade data seen by Reuters show that state-controlled oil firm PDVSA's crude exports, which account for 94 percent of the country's hard currency income, fell to 1.19 million bpd in July, excluding independent sales made by its joint ventures.
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REUTERS - Brent crude futures LCOc1 were down 72 cents at $61.49 per barrel at 1020 GMT, having fallen by 1.5 percent on Tuesday, its largest one-day drop in a month. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 was at $55.12 per barrel, down 58 cents.
BLOOMBERG - Prices dropped during the session as the International Energy Agency said the recent recovery in oil prices, coupled with milder-than-normal winter weather, is slowing demand growth. The worsening outlook for consumption dampened some of the enthusiasm that OPEC and its allies will extend supply curbs.
Global energy needs rise more slowly than in the past but still expand by 30% between today and 2040. This is the equivalent of adding another China and India to today’s global demand.
Product exports have grown significantly over the past several years and are expected to continue to grow as Russian refineries add capacity to produce more high-quality products.