Oil climbs to five-month high on OPEC cuts, U.S. sanctions and Libya fighting

SINGAPORE/LONDON (Reuters) – Oil prices rose to their highest level since November 2018 on Monday, driven by OPEC supply cuts, U.S. sanctions against Iran and Venezuela and fighting in Libya as well as strong U.S. jobs data. International benchmark Brent futures were at $70.66 per barrel at 1000 GMT on Monday, up 32 cents, or 0.5 percent from their last close. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 30 cents, or 0.5 percent, at $63.38 per barrel. Brent and WTI both hit their highest since November at $70.83 and $63.53 a barrel, respectively, early on Monday. To prop up prices, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-affiliated allies like Russia, known as OPEC+, pledged to withhold around 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) of supply from the start of this year. “OPEC’s ongoing supply cuts and U.S. sanctions on Iran and Venezuela have been the major driver of prices throughout this year,” said Hussein Sayed, chief market strategist at futures brokerage FXTM. “However, the latest boost was received from an escalation of fighting in Libya which is threatening further supply disruption,” he added. Strong U.S. jobs data on Friday was also still supporting markets on… continue reading

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