SINGAPORE, Jan 24 (Reuters) – Oil prices were firm on Wednesday, receiving ongoing support from healthy economic growth as well as from supply restrictions led by a group of producers around the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Russia.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $64.59 a barrel, up 12 cents from their last settlement and close to a December-2014 high of $64.89 from Jan. 16.
In the latest sign of healthy global economic growth, Japanese manufacturing activity expanded at the fastest pace in almost four years in January, a survey showed on Wednesday.
Economic growth is translating into healthy oil demand growth, which comes at a time that OPEC and Russia lead production cuts aimed at tightening the market and propping up prices. The deal to withhold output started in January last year and is currently set to last through 2018.
Stephen Innes, head of trading for Asia/Pacific at futures brokerage Oanda in Singapore said a “beaming economic forecast along with stout compliance from OPEC (to withhold production) is providing convincing support.”
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