Oil Prices Higher After OPEC Cuts Trickle In and Chinese Demand Grows

Oil prices jumped more than $1 a barrel on Thursday on news that key OPEC members were cutting production as promised and on forecasts of strong demand growth in China.

Brent crude oil LCOc1 rose $1.33 a barrel to a high of $56.43 before easing slightly to trade around $56.20 by 1445 GMT (9:45 a.m. ET). U.S. light crude CLc1 was up $1.05 a barrel at $53.30.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed in November to cut production to try to reduce a supply glut that has depressed prices for more than two years.

Several OPEC members appear to be implementing the deal.

“All the focus is now on OPEC compliance, which seems to be moving ahead as planned,” said Bjarne Schieldrop, chief commodities analyst at SEB Markets in Oslo.

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said on Thursday the kingdom had cut production to its lowest in almost two years, a move that would help accelerate a rebalancing of the global oil market.

“The market first of all is extremely healthy,” Falih told a conference in Abu Dhabi, adding that global demand for oil would grow by well over 1 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2017 and the market would tighten in two to three years.

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