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Crude Oil Prices Mixed In Asia With Venezuela, U.S. Rig Count Figures Ahead

Commodities Oct 26, 2017 09:45PM ET
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Investing.com - Crude oil pries fell in Asia on Friday with the market cautious as OPEC member and major producer Venezuela reportedly faces problems making payments on bonds issued to the state oil company PDVSA and with U.S. rig count data ahead.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for December delivery rose 0.11% to $52.70 a barrel, while on London's Intercontinental Exchange, Brent gained was quoted down 0.08% to $59.42 a barrel. Shale oil drillers have recently pared back on new drilling programs and investors are waiting to see if the dip is temporary as prices remain steadily above $50 a barrel.

Payments on bonds issued by Petroleos de Venezuela SA, or PDVSA, and the Venezuelan government remain a question mark two days after the state-owned refiner and producer made good on two overdue bond payments and approved a $985 million debt payment due Friday.

Overnight, crude oil prices settled higher on Thursday as recent data showing an uptick in U.S. crude supplies and a surge in domestic production was offset by growing expectations that Opec will extend its global accord to cut output.

Crude Oil prices struggled for direction as investors weighed the recent uptick in U.S. crude supplies and production against growing expectations that Opec would extend its supply-cut agreement amid bullish comments from Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Answering a question on whether he supported extending the production cut agreement, Prince Salman said “of course” and insisted that Opec “need to continue stabilizing the market”, fuelling investor expectations that support for prolonged cuts is growing among Opec members.

“Everyone is looking forward to the OPEC meeting at the end of next month,” said Thomas Pugh, a commodities economist at Capital Economics.

In May, Opec producers agreed to extend production cuts for a period of nine months until March, but stuck to production cuts of 1.2 million bpd agreed in November last year.

The bullish comments helped turn sentiment on oil prices positive amid investor concerns over recent data showing both U.S. crude supplies and domestic production jumped last week.

Inventories of U.S. crude rose by roughly 856,000 barrels in the week ended Oct. 20, missing expectations of a draw of 2.6m barrels. That was the first increase in five weeks.

U.S. crude production, meanwhile, surged to 9.5m barrels per day (bpd) as daily exports of crude, diesel and other petroleum products climbed to 7.66m barrels last week, the EIA said Wednesday.

Crude Oil Prices Mixed In Asia With Venezuela, U.S. Rig Count Figures Ahead
 

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