Oil Higher But Doubts Remain About OPEC Agreement Success

Oil prices edged higher on Friday as output cuts by OPEC members met with lingering concern that other producers could try to shirk their share of planned decreases aimed at curbing global oversupply.

Brent crude futures LCOc1, the benchmark for international oil prices, were trading at $57.20 per barrel at 1229 GMT (7:29 a.m. ET), up 31 cents from the previous close.

In the United States, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were at $54.05 a barrel, 29 cents above their last settlement.

The contracts were largely flat on the week after days of choppy trading.

“There’s a lot of volatility, or at least changes in direction,” ABN Amro senior energy economist Hans van Cleef said. “People think the long-term trend is up, but after a gain of a few dollars, they take profit.”

Production cuts by OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia and signs that it plans further trims have helped buoy the market.

via Reuters

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza