Oil rises as investors expect output cut extension next week | Reuters
By Julia Simon | NEW YORK NEW YORK Oil prices rose on Friday, heading for a second week of gains on growing expectations that OPEC and other producing countries will agree at a meeting next week to extend crude output cuts.Brent crude was up $1.02 at $53.53 at 1:22 p.m (1722 GMT) while U.S.
By Julia Simon
| NEW YORK
NEW YORK Oil prices rose on Friday, heading for a second week of gains on growing expectations that OPEC and other producing countries will agree at a meeting next week to extend crude output cuts.Brent crude was up $1.02 at $53.53 at 1:22 p.m (1722 GMT) while U.S. benchmark crude oil was up 94 cents at $50.29. Both benchmarks slipped back from session highs after a report that U.S. energy companies added oil rigs again in the latest week. Energy services firm Baker Hughes said U.S. drillers added oil rigs for an 18th week in a row, the second-longest streak of weekly additions on record.The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other producers including Russia meet on May 25. Market watchers expect them to extend output cuts of 1.8 million barrels a day until the end of March 2018.The OPEC-led group is trying to reduce a global crude glut in the face of rising production in the United State. An OPEC panel is considering even deeper supply cuts to try to boost prices and reduce forward selling.
Rob Haworth, senior investment strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management, said hedge funds expect the crude glut to recede."Time and again they are rebuilding long positions," he said. "There seems to see this persistent bias to buy on the dips. They’re not getting bearish, they’re coming back in."
Many investors remain concerned about growing U.S. crude production, which has climbed 10 percent since mid-2016 to 9.3 million barrels per day. U.S. drillers added eight oil rigs in the week to May 19, bringing the total count to 720, the most since April 2015, according to Baker Hughes.On Thursday, official data showed OPEC leader Saudi Arabia's crude exports rose 275,000 bpd in March from February and its stockpiles increased.
This weekend, U.S. President Donald Trump heads to Saudi Arabia, where state oil company Saudi Aramco is set to sign investment deals with several U.S. companies.Iran holds its first round of presidential elections this weekend. In a note on Friday, Commerzbank wrote that if President Hassan Rouhani remains in office, it should encourage Western investment and bring "a noticeable rise in Iranian oil production."If the winner is Ebrahim Raisi, a critic of Iran's nuclear deal with the West, the bank said new sanctions "would then very likely be imposed ... which could reduce the oil supply from Iran." (Additional reporting by Stephen Eisenhammer in London, Aaron Sheldrick in Japan, and Henning Gloystein in Singapore; Editing by David Evans and David Gregorio)
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By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.