Oil halts decline near $52 as Kuwait says OPEC to fulfil cuts

Oil halted its decline near $52 as Kuwait said Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its partners will fulfil a deal to trim output and US stockpiles were seen rising. Futures were little changed after falling 3.8 per cent Monday, the biggest drop in more than five weeks. OPEC and its partners, including Saudi Arabia, have already announced 60 to 70 per cent of the promised curbs, Kuwaiti Oil Minister Essam Al-Marzouk said Monday. US inventories probably rose by 2 million barrels last week, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey before government data on Wednesday. Crude last year posted its biggest annual gain since 2009 as the OPEC and 11 other countries agreed to curb output starting January 1 to trim a global glut. While Gulf producers say they’ve started to reduce supply, increases from exporters such as Libya, which is exempt from cuts, could put pressure on prices. West Texas Intermediate for February delivery added 7 cents to $52.03 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 11.11 am in Sydney. Total volume traded was about 67 per cent below the 100-day average. Brent for March settlement lost $2.16, or 3.8 per cent, to $54.94 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange on Monday. The global benchmark crude ended the session at a premium of $2.07 to March WTI. (Perry Williams/Bloomberg)

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