The behavior of Oil Markets

Oil rose for a third straight session on Monday, as speculators took advantage of last week’s drop to seven-month lows, although a relentless increase in U.S. supply and little evidence of a widespread drop in global inventories capped gains. Investors in U.S. crude futures and options have increased their bets against a further rise in prices, just as the number of U.S. oil rigs in operation hit its highest in over three years. U.S. shale oil output is up around 10% since last year, and together with increases from the likes of Brazil, threatens to scupper the efforts of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its partners to force a drawdown in global oil inventories via production cuts. Brent crude futures were up 48 cents at $46.02 per barrel. The price is still on track for a near 20% drop in the first half of the year, having hit a trough of $44.35 on June 21, its lowest since November. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were up 47 cents at $43.48 per barrel. OPEC and 11 rival exporters agreed in May to extend a 1.8-million-barrels-per-day (bpd) cut in output to March 2018, in the hope that it will force global supply and demand to align. However, the market expects there was little fundamental news to justify more of a bounce in oil prices.



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