Oil prices continue strong start to 2019 as Saudi cuts exports further

Bahrain, Home Of U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet
Saudi Arabia said today it will drop exports by a further 100,000 barrels per day in February (Source: Getty)

Oil has ticked upwards again today for its eighth straight session as Opec cuts in the New Year and hopes US-China trade talks pushed prices up.

Brent crude smashed back through the $60 per barrel milestone for the first time in three weeks as it gained 2.8 per cent by mid afternoon. However by 4pm the international standard had given up some of its gains, falling back to $59.71 per barrel.

“The Energy Information Administration report encouraged traders to take some profit on oil. The energy gave back some of the ground made after it was reported that oil inventories dropped by 1.68 million barrels, and that gasoline stockpiles surged by over 8 million barrels,” CMC analyst David Madden said.

US standard WTI crude, meanwhile, gained 1.99 per cent to $50.77 per barrel.

Prices rose as Saudi Arabia’s oil minister Khalid al-Falih told reporters the country could reduce its exports by 100,000 barrels per day in January to 7.1m next month.

The kingdom is spearheading efforts by oil producing cartel Opec to cut production and push prices up.

Fiona Cincotta, at City Index, said: “Though traders are explaining [the rise] away with the fact that Saudi Arabia and Russia have agreed to reduce production this quarter, an element of the rise has to do with new position taking at the start of the year and bargain hunting after the oil price flirted with the $50 level in late December.”