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Oil prices rise 1% on hopes of Opec-led output cuts

Goldman Sachs expects Brent above mid-US$60 per barrel

Singapore

OIL prices rose by more than 1 per cent on Tuesday, extending bigger gains from the previous day amid expected Opec-led supply cuts and a mandated reduction in Canadian output.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at US$53.53 per barrel early this morning, up 58 cents, or 1.1 per cent, from their last close. International Brent crude oil futures were up 70 US cents, or 1.1 per cent, at US$62.39 per barrel.

Both crude benchmarks climbed by around 4 per cent the previous session after Washington and Beijing agreed to a truce in their trade disputes and said they would negotiate for 90 days before taking any further action.

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Market voices on:

"Oil prices look likely to move up gradually this week as investors anticipate supply cuts by Opec+," said Benjamin Lu of Singapore-based brokerage Phillip Futures, referring to the producer group and Russia.

The Middle East-dominated Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) will on Dec 6 meet at its headquarters in Vienna, Austria, to agree on a joint output policy. Opec will also discuss policy with non-Opec production giant Russia.

US bank Goldman Sachs said in a note to clients: "A cut in Opec and Russia production of 1.3 million barrels per day (bpd) will be required to reverse the ongoing counter-seasonally large increase in inventories."

It added that it expected a joint effort by Opec and Russia to withhold supply to push Brent oil prices "above the mid-US$60 per barrel level".

Helping Opec in its efforts to rein in emerging oversupply was an order on Sunday by the Canadian province of Alberta for producers to scale back output by 325,000 bpd.

Opec's biggest problem is surging production in the US, where output has grown by around 2 million bpd in a year to more than 11.5 million bpd.

Britain's Barclays bank pointed out that production in the state of Texas alone "reached 4.69 million bpd in September, compared with Iraqi output of 4.66 million by our estimates".

Iraq is Opec's second-biggest oil producer, behind only Saudi Arabia. REUTERS