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Crude Prices Stable

Crude Prices StableCrude Prices Stable

Oil prices stabilized on Monday after one of the most bearish weeks in months, propped up by OPEC comments signaling the group and other producers may take further action to restore market balance in the long run.

Global benchmark Brent crude was down 16 cents at $55.46 a barrel. Earlier in the session, it touched a three-week low of $55.06 after ending last week 3.3% lower, its biggest weekly loss since June 2016, CNBC reported.

US West Texas Intermediate crude futures were trading at $49.38, up 9 cents. They came close to a four-week low when they fell to $49.13 earlier in the session. WTI’s losses last week came to 4.6%.

Oil production platforms in the Gulf of Mexico started returning to service after Hurricane Nate had forced the shutdown of more than 90% of crude output in the area. The prospective restarts kept price gains in check.

“Oil is having trouble to find direction. Mixed signals keep investors busy changing their minds,” said Hans van Cleef, senior energy economist at ABN Amro.

“There is a good chance that we will continue to trade a bit sideways in the coming weeks up to the OPEC meeting.”

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries is due to meet in Vienna on Nov. 30 when it will discuss its pact to reduce output to prop up the market.

Market sentiment in the US remains strong. Money managers raised their bullish bets on US crude futures for the third week in a row, the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission reported on Friday. However, data published by InterContinental Exchange showed investors had slightly reduced their bets on rising Brent prices in the week ending Oct. 3.

 “Brent crude is thus at risk to the downside, if speculators and investors decide to take yet more money off the table,” said Bjarne Schieldrop, chief commodities analyst at SEB Markets.

 

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