OIL PRICE: ABOVE $63 AGAIN
BLOOMBERG - Oil headed for its highest close since June 2015 after U.S. industry data showed crude stockpiles resumed declines and as investors await a decision by OPEC on extending output cuts.
January futures rose as much as 1.7 percent in New York after advancing 0.7 percent on Tuesday. Inventories fell by 6.36 million barrels last week, the American Petroleum Institute was said to report. Government data Wednesday is forecast to show supplies slid 2.2 million barrels, according to a Bloomberg survey, which would be the first decline in three weeks.
Oil is trading near a two-year high before the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries meets in Vienna next week to decide on an extension of supply cuts past the end of March. Saudi Arabia reduced its crude exports in September to the lowest level since March 2011, according to official data submitted to the JODI global database.
"It does appear the only way is up for oil," said Michael McCarthy, a chief strategist at CMC Markets in Sydney. "A lot of traders are speculating about the potential outcome of the OPEC meeting. Expectations are high and that could lead to disappointment if OPEC and its partners don't deliver, but it doesn't seem many are prepared to take the risk of that happening."
West Texas Intermediate for January delivery gained as much as 97 cents to $57.80 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at $57.72 at 1 p.m. in Hong Kong. The contract added 41 cents to $56.83 on Tuesday.
Brent for January settlement added 44 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $63.01 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange after climbing 0.6 percent on Tuesday. The global benchmark traded at a premium of $5.31 to WTI.
U.S. crude stockpiles at Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point for WTI and the biggest oil-storage hub, dropped by 1.8 million barrels last week, the API said, according to people familiar with the data. Gasoline inventories expanded by 869,000 barrels last week, according to the API.
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AN - China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC) is willing to invest $3 billion in its existing oil and gas operation in Nigeria, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said on Sunday following a meeting with the Chinese in Abuja.
REUTERS - Production at Libya’s giant Sharara oil field was expected to fall by at least 160,000 barrels per day (bpd) on Saturday after two staff were abducted in an attack by an unknown group, the National Oil Corporation (NOC) said.
IMF - Output grew by 3.8 percent in 2017, underpinned by a resilient non-hydrocarbon sector, with robust implementation of GCC-funded projects as well as strong activity in the financial, hospitality, and education sectors. The banking system remains stable with large capital buffers. Growth is projected to decelerate over the medium term.
IMF - Higher oil prices and short-term portfolio inflows have provided relief from external and fiscal pressures but the recovery remains challenging. Inflation declined to its lowest level in more than two years. Real GDP expanded by 2 percent in the first quarter of 2018 compared to the first quarter of last year. However, activity in the non-oil non-agricultural sector remains weak as lower purchasing power weighs on consumer demand and as credit risk continues to limit bank lending.