Oil slips be­low $55

Kuwait Times - - BUSINESS -

LON­DON:

Oil slipped be­low $55 a bar­rel yesterday as a stronger US dol­lar weighed on com­modi­ties and as higher Libyan out­put threat­ened to counter some of the sup­ply cuts planned by OPEC and other pro­duc­ers. Crude is still trad­ing around its high­est since mid-2015, sup­ported by a deal by the Or­ga­ni­za­tion of the Pe­tro­leum Ex­port­ing Coun­tries and non-mem­bers to lower out­put by al­most 1.8 mil­lion bar­rels per day from Jan 1.

Brent crude was down 54 cents at $54.51 a bar­rel at 1300 GMT, af­ter ris­ing 1.1 per­cent on Thurs­day. It reached $57.89, the high­est since July 2015, on Dec 12. US crude fell 51 cents to $52.44. “There’s some profit-tak­ing af­ter the last ses­sion’s gains. Oil prices are also weaker due to the stronger dol­lar,” said Jonathan Bar­ratt, chief in­vest­ment of­fi­cer at Ay­ers Al­liance in Syd­ney.

Also weigh­ing on oil was a sur­prise in­crease in US crude stocks re­ported on Wed­nes­day in the gov­ern­ment’s weekly sup­ply re­port - and the prospect of sales be­gin­ning in Jan­uary of crude from the US Strate­gic Pe­tro­leum Re­serve (SPR). “Crude failed to main­tain gains this week fol­low­ing the un­ex­pected build in US crude stock­piles, which re­vived the over­sup­ply con­cerns,” said Luk­man Otunuga, a re­search an­a­lyst with FXTM. “With some anx­i­eties still lin­ger­ing over the com­pli­ance side of the un­ex­pected cut agree­ment, oil could end up ex­tremely volatile with losses ex­pected if pro­duc­tion fails to de­cline.” — Reuters

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