Oil prices little changed amid OPEC+ cut doubts, Mid-East tension

SINGAPORE: Oil prices were little changed on Tuesday amid uncertainty over voluntary output cuts by OPEC+, continued tension in the Middle East and weak economic data from the U.S.

Brent crude futures ticked down 1 cent to $78.02 a barrel by 0402 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were up 5 cents at $73.09 a barrel.

Comments by Saudi Arabia's energy minister that OPEC+ production cuts could continue past the first quarter of 2024 if needed lent some support to the market, said Kelvin Wong, senior market analyst for Asia pacific at OANDA.

Oil prices had declined in the previous trading session as traders doubted that supply cuts by OPEC+ would have a significant impact, and as a stronger U.S. dollar weighed on commodity prices in general, said CMC Markets analyst Tina Teng.

A stronger dollar typically makes oil more expensive for holders of other currencies, which could dampen oil demand.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies including Russia, together known as OPEC+, on Thursday agreed to voluntary output cuts totalling about 2.2 million barrels per day (bpd) for the first quarter of 2024, led by Saudi Arabia rolling over its current voluntary cut.

At least 1.3 million bpd of those cuts, however, were an extension of voluntary curbs that Saudi Arabia and Russia already had in place.

Resumption of fighting in the Israel-Hamas war, however, stoked supply concern, as did attacks on three commercial vessels in international waters in the southern Red Sea.

Those incidents followed a series of attacks in Middle-Eastern waters since war broke out between Israel and Palestinian militant group Hamas on Oct. 7.

Data on Tuesday showed U.S. factory orders fell by more than analysts expected in October and the most for over three years, dampening oil market sentiment. That bolstered the view that high interest rates are beginning to limit spending, analysts said. (Reporting by Emily Chow and Colleen Howe; Editing by Christopher Cushing)

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Brent , WTI , OPEC+


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