Oil closed above $50 a barrel in New York for the first time in two months as OPEC reduces imports to the U.S. and is set to meet with other countries to discuss production cuts.
West Texas Intermediate for September delivery climbed 46 cents to settle at $50.17 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent for September settlement, which expires Monday, added 13 cents to end the session at $52.65 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.
OPEC will meet with allies in Abu Dhabi next week to discuss compliance with their output-cut accord. U.S. crude imports from member countries slipped 2.6 percent in May, and some of the group’s leading exporters have pledged to reduce shipments next month.
“There’s been some constructive developments coming out of OPEC,” Tamar Essner, an energy analyst at Nasdaq, said by telephone. “The data out of OPEC has been bearish.”
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Oil has rebounded on growing signs that the market is coming back into balance, with futures climbing above the 200-day moving average last week for the first time since May. Members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries such as Saudi Arabia and Kuwait promised to reduce crude exports. U.S. crude stockpiles have been on a steady decline and are estimated to have dropped further last week.
The market resisted $50 for most of the morning, but a last-minute jump might have been driven by short-sellers pulling out, said John Macaluso, a trader at Tyche Capital Advisors in New York.
“Whatever shorts that were trying to play that $50 a barrel level were just taking trades off at the end of the day,” he said. A lot of investors reconsider “their convictions, especially when you get to the tipping point of $50.”
Representatives of some OPEC and non-OPEC nations will meet in the United Arab Emirates capital on Aug. 7-8 to discuss why some of them aren’t fully implementing their commitment to cut output, according to an OPEC statement.
Refining margins for gasoline rose amid a shutdown of units at Royal Dutch Shell’s Pernis refinery in the Netherlands.
Europe’s largest refinery halted several units late Saturday following a fire, the company said in a statement. The Netherlands plant will keep most of its units shut Monday, a company spokesman said.
“You’re getting some support from the Pernis refinery fire. That’s stoking the cracks spreads more than anything else right now,” said John Kilduff, a partner at Again Capital, a New York-based hedge fund said by telephone. “There seems to be a lack of clarity” around when refinery units will restart.