Oil ends lower as rising United States rig count, G-20 statement unnerves

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate futures were trading.

Oil prices settled at their lowest level in almost a week, as another rise in active USA oil rigs renewed concerns over domestic production and some analysts anxious that a change to the G-20 policy statement may impact global trade.

As of 8am GMT (4 pm Singapore time), prices for benchmark Brent crude futures were down 34 cents, or 0.66 per cent, at US$51.42 (S$72) per barrel.

Russia, the largest of the 11 outside producers working with OPEC, has not publicly said whether it supports extending the supply cut, but is wary about the revival of US shale output due to higher oil prices.

Malaysian palm oil futures on Monday were in line for their second session of declines in three on weaker export data, while March output is expected to improve from a month ago.




"With the Baker Hughes rig count rising for a ninth straight week, investors will be hoping that Opec this week will reiterate commitment to production cuts, perhaps going so far as to begin talking up chances of further cuts in June". Higher crude oil (FXN) (IXC) (USL) prices have a positive impact on oil producers' earnings such as Occidental Petroleum (OXY), Whiting Petroleum (WLL), Cobalt International Energy (CIE), and Continental Resources (CLR).

"While producers remain confident the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries' (Opec) measures to curb output will bring the market into balance, price action suggests traders aren't buying it", said Craig Erlam, analyst at Oanda.

"The cuts in Opec production from the start of 2017 should start to show up between mid-March (now) and mid-April".

"The combination of falling imports and stronger crude runs should lead to substantial inventory cuts over the coming months", they said.

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