Brent Steady Around $57

Brent Steady Around $57Brent Steady Around $57

Oil steadied close to $57 barrel on Monday as rising tensions between the United States and Iran and OPEC supply cuts were countered by ample inventories and signs that higher prices will revive US output.

Brent crude was trading at $56.86 a barrel, up 5 cents, having touched an intra-day high of $57.13. US West Texas Intermediate crude was up 15 cents at $53.98, Reuters reported.

US energy companies added oil rigs for a 13th week in the last 14, data showed on Friday. Despite the OPEC cuts, US crude inventories increased more than expected last week.

"The tug-of-war between oil bulls and bears continued last week and there are no clear signs who could turn out to be the winner," said Tamas Varga of oil broker PVM, the world's leading independent broker of oil instrument.

"The result is a market where buyers shy away on a pop over $57 basis Brent but they feel a dip to the $54-level is an attractive purchase."

Tension between Tehran and Washington has risen since an Iranian missile test which prompted US President Donald Trump's administration last week to impose sanctions on individuals and entities.

"The move by the US to impose new restrictions on Iran ... does raise the risk of further tensions disrupting oil supply," the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited said.

Iran, OPEC's third-largest producer, has been raising output gradually since most international sanctions over its nuclear program were lifted in 2016.

Tehran is exempt from OPEC's plan to cut supplies alongside Russia and other independent producers, which started on Jan. 1 and calls for reductions of almost 1.8 million barrels per day.


Add new comment

Read our comment policy before posting your viewpoints