Oil Prices Top $57

Oil Prices Top $57Oil Prices Top $57

Oil prices rose more than $1 a barrel on Tuesday after OPEC said it was sticking to its agreement to cut production and hoped compliance with the deal would be even higher.

Benchmark Brent crude oil jumped $1.13 a barrel to a high of $57.31 before easing to trade around $57.15. US light crude was up $1.00 at $54.40, having risen by about 0.5% in a shortened session on Monday because of a US national holiday.

The cuts have spurred a speculative move into crude oil that has pushed prices toward the top of their recent ranges.

Money managers now hold the highest volume of net long Brent futures and options on record, InterContinental Exchange data showed on Monday, betting on higher prices to come as OPEC and other key exporters reduce production. 

Net long US crude futures and options positions are also at a record high, US data showed on Friday.

"This prolonged and increasing overcrowding of speculative net longs should be a cause for concern," said Jonathan Chan, an investment analyst at Phillip Futures. "Should there come a time when these speculative positions decide to unwind, oil prices will be in for a significant correction."

Despite signs that OPEC's agreement is holding, inventory levels are still very high in many parts of the world.

US crude oil and gasoline inventories soared to record highs last week, as refineries cut output and gasoline demand softened.

More evidence of the state of the US oil market will come on Thursday when the US Department of Energy publishes stocks figures. 

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