U.S. crude futures edged above $46 a barrel on Wednesday, helped by a flurry of short-covering as traders moved to cash in profitable short positions as the price trades not far from a near six-year low hit a day earlier.
NYMEX crude for February delivery was up 14 cents at $46.03 a barrel by 2345 GMT, after settling down 18 cents on Tuesday. It hit $44.20 on Tuesday, a price last seen in April 2009. London Brent crude for February delivery, which expires on Thursday, was untraded yet, after settling down 84 cents at $46.59.
OPEC will not cut its oil output to support prices but expects higher-cost producers to do so, the United Arab Emirates energy minister insisted on Tuesday.
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