Oil caps worst week since November with all eyes on OPEC cuts

Oil posted the biggest weekly decline since November as traders await proof that Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other producers are following through on promises to cut production. Futures declined 1.2 per cent in New York on Friday and slid 3 per cent this week. Saudi Arabia reduced output to less than 10 million barrels a day and will consider renewing its pledge to trim supply in six months, according to Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih. Still, until monthly production data is released, “these claims cannot be verified,” according to Commerzbank AG. Oil has advanced since the deal among members of the OPEC and 11 other nations to temper global supply. It has been unable to sustain its rally above $55 amid concern that rising prices will spur more production. While Middle East producers including Saudi Arabia have signalled they are sticking to the pledged reductions, the US on Tuesday raised this year’s output forecast. “We’re seeing strong compliance from the usual suspects, the Saudis and their Gulf counterparts,” John Kilduff, a partner at Again Capital LLC, a New York-based hedge fund that focuses on energy, said by telephone. But US output rose by 176,000 barrels a day last week and “the exempted countries are going gangbusters in production and exports,” he said. (Jessica Summers and Bailey Lipschultz/Bloomberg)

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