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Brent Strikes 60bbl as Supply Cuts

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Oil prices rose on Monday to their highest in just over a year, with Brent futures nudging past 60 a barrel, boosted by supply cuts among key producers and hopes for further U.S. economic stimulus measures to boost demand.

Brent crude for April touched an intraday high of 60.06 a barrel, the highest since January last year. The frontmonth contract was at 59.98 by 0537 GMT, up 64 cents, or 1.1.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures for March advanced 65 cents, or 1.1, to 57.50 a barrel, the highest since January last year.

Saudi Arabias pledge of extra supply cuts in February and March on the back of reductions by other members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, including Russia, is helping to balance global markets and support prices.

In a sign that prompt supplies are tightening, the sixmonth Brent spread settled at 2.33 on Friday after hitting a high of 2.44, its widest in a year.

OCBCs economist Howie Lee said the worlds top exporter Saudi Arabia sent a very bullish signal last week when it kept monthly crude prices to Asia unchanged despite expectations of small cuts. CRUOSP

I dont think anybody dares to short the market when Saudi is like this, he added.

Investors, focused on oil demand recovery forecast by analysts to take place in the second half this year, are overlooking shortterm weakness in demand right now caused by anticoronavirus lockdowns across parts of Europe and Asia, Lee said.

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