Investing.com – Crude oil prices rebounded smartly in Asia on Tuesday as investors noted overnight comments from Saudi Arabia that hinted at production cuts.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, WTI crude for January delivery rose 0.72% to $ 42.14 a barrel.
On Tuesday in the U.S., industry group the reports crude and refined product stockpile estimates for last week. On Wednesday, the releases more closely-watched figures.
Overnight, futures turned negative late in Monday’s session on a choppy day of trading, as investors locked into profits from a Saudi Arabian-fueled rally ahead of next week’s critical OPEC meeting.
In spite of the mild losses, U.S. crude futures still closed above $ 41 a barrel for only the third time in the last 10 days. The front month contract for WTI crude has remained near six year lows throughout the year, amid a glut of oversupply globally. On November 17, money market funds including hedge funds held the highest number of short positions in U.S. crude since August, according to the U.S. Commodities and Futures Trade Commission.
Meanwhile, on the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), brent crude for January delivery wavered between $ 43.59 and $ 45.73 a barrel before closing at 44.84, up 0.18 or 0.39%.
Energy traders on Monday reacted to bullish comments from Ali bin Ibrahim Al-Naimi, the Saudi Arabian minister for petroleum and mineral resources, on the world’s largest exporters willingness to cooperate with OPEC in an effort to stabilize prices. Appearing at a seminar on the future of energy in the Middle East and North Africa, al-Naimi indicated that Saudia Arabia is ready to use all tools necessary in order to reduce instability on global energy markets.
“Perhaps it would be fitting here to mention the role of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the stability of the oil market, and its continued willingness and prompt, assiduous efforts to cooperate with all oil producing and exporting countries, both from within and outside OPEC, in order to maintain market and price stability,” Al-Naimi said, according to Saudi Arabia’s official press agency.
Crude prices have slumped more than 40% over the last year since OPEC roiled markets with a strategic decision to maintain its production ceiling above 30 million barrels per day.
The comments provide indications that the kingdom could consider lowering its output and increasing prices when OPEC meets next on Dec. 4. A sharp rise in prices could convince U.S. shale producers to bring more drilling rigs back online, as the companies continue to wage an extended battle with OPEC for market share.
Last week, U.S. oil rigs inched up by 10 to 564, according to oil services firm Baker Hughes (N:N:). The still remains considerably below its level last fall when it peaked above 1,600.
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