Oil Climbs After Saudi Arabia Cuts Exports

By Sarah McFarlane Features Dow Jones Newswires

Oil markets held on to modest gains on Tuesday, after Saudi Arabia announced plans to cut its monthly exports in November, in an effort to accelerate the draining of global stocks.

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Brent crude, the global oil benchmark, rose 0.4% to $56.02 a barrel on London's ICE Futures exchange. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate futures were trading up 0.4% at $49.76 a barrel.

Saudi Arabia's oil ministry said Monday that the kingdom will export 7% less crude by sea in November, compared with the same period last year. The move is part of ongoing efforts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other producers, including Russia, to stabilize prices by curbing output in a deal which expires in March 2018.

Last week Saudi King Salman and Russian President Vladimir Putin met in Moscow where discussions included extending the cuts, but no new agreement was struck.

"There has been only a muted response to more comments from OPEC members regarding extending or deepening the supply cut deal, as well as the announcement that Saudi Aramco plans to make deep cuts in crude allocations for November," said consultancy JBC Energy in a note.

Oil prices closed slightly higher Monday but analysts said investors wanted to see more concrete evidence of the cuts.

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"The market wants to see it first before it believes it, we're still in October, we haven't seen the October numbers yet," said Giovanni Staunovo, commodity analyst at UBS Wealth Management.

Weekly U.S. oil inventory data, due Wednesday, is expected to show a continued draw in crude stocks. Analysts surveyed by S&P Global Platts expect oil supplies to have fallen by 400,000 barrels in the week ended Oct. 6.

Hurricane Nate is forecast to have caused October output in the Gulf of Mexico to fall by around 200,000 barrels a day after production was shut-in as a precautionary measure, Mr. Staunovo said.

Investors are also awaiting OPEC's monthly report due Wednesday, followed by the International Energy Agency's monthly report Thursday, for updated supply and demand forecasts.

Nymex reformulated gasoline blendstock--the benchmark gasoline contract--rose 0.8% to $1.57 a gallon. ICE gasoil changed hands at $515.75 a metric ton, up $2.50 from the previous settlement.

Write to Sarah McFarlane at sarah.mcfarlane@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 10, 2017 05:45 ET (09:45 GMT)