CRUDE OIL TOPS $16 FIRST TIME SINCE 2016

Weekly Trust - - Front Page - Hamisu Muham­mad

Brent crude closed at a 27-month high yes­ter­day over com­ments from Saudi Ara­bia that sig­naled the likely ex­ten­sion of a sup­ply cut deal by OPEC and non OPEC mem­bers as data re­leased by the World Bank pro­jected growth in oil prices by 2018.

Brent fu­tures LCOc1 gained 86 cents or 1.64 per­cent to set­tle at $60.01 a bar­rel, its high­est close since July 2015.

U.S. West Texas In­ter­me­di­ate crude CLc1, mean­while, rose 46 cents or 2.05 per­cent to set­tle at a more than six-month high of $53.54, its high­est close since April.

With yes­ter­day’s gains, Brent fu­tures were up for four days in a row fol­low­ing com­ments ear­lier in the week from Saudi Ara­bia that the King­dom was de­ter­mined to end a global sup­ply glut that has weighed on prices for more than three years.

“We are com­mit­ted to work with all pro­duc­ers, OPEC and nonOPEC coun­tries ... We will sup­port any­thing to sta­bilise the oil de­mand and sup­ply,” Saudi Ara­bia’s Crown Prince Mo­ham­mad bin Sal­man told Reuters on Thurs­day when asked whether the king­dom would sup­port ex­tend­ing an agree­ment to cut sup­plies un­til the end of 2018.

The Or­ga­ni­za­tion of Pe­tro­leum Ex­port­ing Coun­tries (OPEC) plus Rus­sia and nine other pro­duc­ers have cut oil out­put by about 1.8 mil­lion bar­rels per day (bpd) since Jan­uary. The pact runs to March 2018, but they are con­sid­er­ing ex­tend­ing it.

This is com­ing just as the World Bank re­leased its fore­cast that oil prices would rise to $56a bar­rel in 2018 from $53 this year as a re­sult of steadily grow­ing de­mand, agreed pro­duc­tion cuts among oil ex­porters and sta­bi­liz­ing U.S. shale oil pro­duc­tion, while the surge in metal prices is ex­pected to level off next year.

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