Oil Rises 2% on Calls for Output Freeze

Oil Rises 2% on Calls  for Output FreezeOil Rises 2% on Calls  for Output Freeze

Oil extended gains on Monday on a report of renewed calls by some OPEC members to restrain output, even as analysts warned bearish fundamentals that brought prices to four-month lows last week still lurked.

International benchmark Brent futures traded at $45.19 per barrel, up 92 cents, or 2.1%, from their last close. US West Texas Intermediate crude futures were at $42.73 per barrel, up 93 cents, or 2.2%, Reuters reported.

The rise came on the back of a report late last week about fresh calls by some members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to freeze production levels in a bid to rein in output that has consistently outpaced demand.

A glut of crude and refined products loomed over the market.

In China, July fuel exports rose over 50% from a year earlier to a monthly record 4.57 million tons, official data showed, as easing demand growth and a surplus in refined products pushed refiners to increase shipments overseas.

“It would be a surprise if we rapidly moved up to $60,” Bjarne Schieldrop, chief commodities analyst with SEB in Oslo, said of Brent prices. “There’s a lot of oil there and we don’t need more of it.”

Meanwhile, the number of oil rigs drilling in the United States rose for the sixth consecutive week to 381, while investors are also increasing their bets against rising oil prices.

Hedge funds cut their net longs on Brent crude to their lowest since January, while investors are holding their smallest bullish exposure to US crude oil since February.