Global oil prices surged Monday, lifting the shares of major producers around the world, as investors bet a trade truce between the U.S. and China, as well as possible production cuts from OPEC, will reverse the market’s steep autumn decline heading into 2019.
Crude bulls were also supported by news that the producers in the Canadian province of Alberta, which ships the bulk of its oil to the United States, to trim output by around 325,000 barrels, nearly 9% of its daily total, starting next year in order to address a bottleneck that has tested storage capacity and troubled government officials concerned over “fiscal and economic insanity”, according to Premier Rachel Notley.
However, some of the markets gains were pared slightly upon news that Qatar, a relatively small OPEC member that produces about 600,000 barrels of crude per day, will leave the cartel on January 1.
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That said, both Saudi Arabia and Russia, an non-OPEC state that nonetheless co-operates frequently with the group’s agenda, agreed over the weekend G20 to push for an extension of current production cuts into 2019, adding further upward pressure to prices ahead of their two-day meeting that begins Thursday in Vienna.
“Regarding oil prices and our agreements. Yes, we have an agreement to extend the deal,” Russia President Vladimir Putin told reporters Saturday in Argentina. “No final agreement has been reached on output, but we will work on this together with Saudi Arabia.”
Brent crude contracts for January delivery, the global benchmark, jumped 4% on Monday changing hands at $61.81 per barrel. West Texas Intermediate contracts for the same month, which are more tightly linked to U.S gas prices, rose 4.63% to $53.29 per barrel.
Oil stocks were also on the move, with U.K.-listed majors BP plc (BP) and Royal Dutch Shell plc (RDS.A) , rising 2.7% and 2.92%, respectively in London while France’s Total SA (TOT) gained 2.88% in Paris. In premarket trading in New York, Dow components Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) and Chevron Corp. (CVX) were rising.
“A trade war is clearly a big negative for the world economy and therefore oil demand so any agreement that could prevent it is naturally bullish for Brent and WTI prices,” said Craig Erlam senior market analyst at Oanda in Singapore. “The conflict has been one of a number of negative factors that’s dragged oil lower over the last couple of months, even now it’s trading around 30% off its peak.”
That said, data from the Energy Information Administration last week showed U.S. crude stocks rose by a bigger-than-expected 3.58 million barrels as of November 23, , the 10th consecutive gain and the longest streak since 2015, taking the total to just over 450 million barrels.
Domestic output, the EIA said, held at a record 11.7 million barrels per day, making it the world’s biggest producer ahead of Saudi Arabia and offsetting concerns that OPEC members, along with Russia, will agree to limit their own output by 1.3 million barrels per day next year in order to clear what they see as a global supply glut.