Crude prices edge up

LONDON, September 22, 2017 – Crude oil prices edged higher on Friday, as traders awaited the conclusion of a highly-anticipated meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries in Vienna.

The U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude October contract was at $50.58 a barrel, up 4 cents or about 0.08% by 07:00 a.m. ET (14:00 GMT), just off the previous session’s four-month peak of $50.80.

Elsewhere, Brent oil for November delivery on the ICE Futures Exchange in London was up 8 cents or about 0.14% at $56.51 a barrel, its highest since April.

Prices have been hovering near multi-month highs in recent sessions, buoyed by bullish demand forecasts from OPEC and the International Energy Agency published late last week.

 

Market participants quickly put aside Wednesday’s report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration showing that crude stockpiles rose more than expected last week.

Traders were now looking the conclusion of a meeting in Vienna between OPEC and other producers regarding a possible extension of production caps.

Iraqi oil minister Jabar al-Luaibi said on Wednesday that his country and other OPEC members are considering options to its production-cut agreement, including an extension beyond March and a deeper output cut.

Last May, Opec and non-Opec members agreed to extend production cuts for a period of nine months until March, but stuck to production cuts of 1.8 million bpd agreed in November last year.

Elsewhere, gasoline futures gained gained 0.33% to $1.651 a gallon, while natural gas futures rose 0.31% to $2.955 per million British thermal units.

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