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Oil prices rise on expectations of more OPEC output cuts

Oil prices rise on expectations of more OPEC output cuts
FILE PHOTO: Pump jacks operate at sunset in an oil field in Midland, Texas U.S. August 22, 2018. REUTERS/Nick Oxford/File Photo -
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Nick Oxford(Reuters)
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By Jane Chung

SEOUL (Reuters) – Oil prices rose on Friday, supported by expectations of more production cuts by OPEC amid fears the U.S.-China trade row could lead to a global slowdown, curbing demand for crude.

International benchmark Brent crude futures <LCOc1>, were at $57.61 a barrel by 0009 GMT, up 23 cents, or 0.4%, from their previous settlement.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) <CLc1> futures were at $52.79 per barrel, up 25 cents, or 0.5%, from their last close.

Both contracts jumped more than 2% on Thursday to recover from January lows, buoyed by reports that Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter, had called other producers to discuss the recent slide in crude prices.

Oil prices have still lost more than 20% from their peaks reached in April, putting them in bear territory.

Global financial markets were rocked over the past week after U.S. President Donald Trump said he would impose 10% tariffs on Chinese goods starting September and a fall in the Chinese yuan sparked fears of a currency war.

China’s yuan strengthened against the dollar on Thursday, on the back of strong export growth in July.

Saudi Arabia, de facto leader of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), planned to maintain its crude oil exports below 7 million barrels per day in August and September to bring the market back to balance and help absorb global oil inventories, a Saudi oil official said on Wednesday.

“Saudi’s production in September will also be lower than it is currently. This helped crude oil rebound from its lowest level since January,” ANZ bank said in a note.

The United Arab Emirates also will continue to support actions to balance the oil market, the country’s energy minister Suhail al-Mazrouei said in a tweet on Thursday.

The minister said the OPEC and non-OPEC ministerial monitoring committee would meet in Abu Dhabi on Sept. 12 to review the oil market.

OPEC and its allies including Russia agreed in July to extend their supply cuts until March 2020 to boost oil prices.

(Reporting By Jane Chung; editing by Richard Pullin)

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