Oil extends gains on Saudi commitment to cut, weak dollar


Oil prices on Thursday extended gains from the previous session, pushed up by a weak dollar and by comments from Saudi Arabia that it would rather see an undersupplied market than end a deal with OPEC and Russia to withhold production.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at USD 61.02 a barrel at 0147 GMT, up 42 cents, or 0.7 percent from their last settlement, adding to a 2.4 percent gain in the previous session.

Brent crude futures were at USD 64.64 per barrel, up 28 cents, or 0.4 percent, extending Wednesday’s 2.6 percent rise.

Prices rose on the back of ongoing weakness in the US-dollar against other leading currencies, further supported by rising stock markets, traders said.

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A weaker greenback potentially supports consumption of dollar-denominated commodities as it makes fuel and raw materials cheaper for countries using other currencies.

“On commodity markets, everyone loves a lower US dollar,” said Greg McKenna, chief market strategist at futures brokerage AxiTrader.

More fundamentally, oil markets got a push from comments by Saudi Arabia, the de-facto leader of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), voicing support for production cuts backed by OPEC and other producers including Russia since 2017 in an effort to tighten the market and prop up prices.

“If we have to err on over-balancing the market a little bit, so be it,” Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said on Wednesday. “I think we are going to be sticking with our policy (to withhold production) throughout 2018.”