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Oil makes small gains ahead of Powell’s speech

LONDON, August 23, 2019 – Oil prices gained on Friday in Asia, but price movements were limited as traders await a speech by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell for more clues on US monetary policy.

“Oil is set to trade quietly today as it’s all about the Jackson Hole (meeting) tonight,” Jeffrey Halley, a Singapore-based senior market analyst at brokerage Oanda, told Reuters in an interview.

“What we’re seeing is some profit-taking in Asia in very light volumes.”

Markets expect central bankers to adopt easier monetary policy measures to prevent a slowdown in the global economy.

 

US Crude Oil WTI Futures rose 0.1% to $55.41 by 12:20 AM ET (04:20 GMT). International Brent Oil Futures gained 0.2% to $60.04.

On the data front, traders will look to the latest rig count data due later in the day for clues on crude production activity following an uptick in US production to 12.3 million last week.

Data last week showed the number of oil rigs operating in the US fell by 4 to 770. The number is down 11.4% from a year ago.

Elsewhere, Reuters’ report cited OPEC data showing that its share of global oil supply had fallen to 30% its lowest in a decade, but the agency concluded the cartel won’t be stampeded into changing output policy as a result.

Iraq is currently pumping above its agreed output ceiling, while Russia increased its output by an average of 180,000 barrels a day this month from July levels, according to UBS commodity strategist Giovanni Staunovo.

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