Oil up after Saudi's comments, but will OPEC change their output strategy?

Published November 25th, 2015 - 11:25 GMT

Oil prices pushed higher on Tuesday, as Saudi Arabia's pledge to work towards stabilizing the market continued to lend support, while investors focused on a global supply glut.

On the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oil for January delivery tacked on 55 cents, or 1.23%, to trade at $45.38 a barrel during European morning hours. A day earlier, prices tacked on 17 cents, or 0.38%.

Saudi Arabia said Monday that it is prepared to use all measures necessary to ensure a stable oil market. The world's biggest oil producer added that it is ready to cooperate with OPEC and non-OPEC producers in order to stabilize prices.

The oil market has been on the defensive in recent months amid uncertainty about how quickly the global glut of crude is set to shrink.

Global oil production is outpacing demand following a boom in U.S. shale oil production and after a decision by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries last year not to cut production.

OPEC will meet on December 4 to review their output strategy. Saudi Arabia and other Gulf OPEC members have recently indicated they will continue to stick to their policy of defending market share by keeping production high.

Elsewhere, crude oil for delivery in January on the New York Mercantile Exchange rose 58 cents, or 1.38%, to trade at $42.33 a barrel. On Monday, Nymex futures dipped 15 cents, or 0.36%.

Market players looked ahead to fresh weekly information on U.S. stockpiles of crude and refined products to gauge the strength of demand in the world’s largest oil consumer.

The American Petroleum Institute will release its inventories report later in the day, while Wednesday’s government report could show crude stockpiles rose by 1.1 million barrels in the week ended November 20.

U.S. oil supplies in the U.S. rose for the eighth consecutive week last week, remaining near levels not seen for this time of year in at least the last 80 years.

Meanwhile, the spread between the Brent and the WTI crude contracts stood at $3.05 a barrel, compared to $3.08 by close of trade on Monday.

The possibility of higher interest rates in the U.S., a stronger U.S. dollar and slower global economic growth, especially in China, further weighed.

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