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Oil prices higher in Asia, ending four days of losses

Singapore : Oil prices advanced in Asia today, ending four days of straight losses on news that Russia was prepared to talk about output cuts in a meeting with OPEC crude producers next week.

Oil prices had been tumbling since Monday on data showing that a global crude supply glut could persist well into next year.

A report yesterday showing US commercial crude stockpiles increased last week further hurt prices as it pointed to softer demand in the world’s top oil consumer.

US inventories jumped by 7.6 million barrels in the week ending October 9, nearly three times as much as experts had predicted.

That brought total stocks to 468.6 million barrels, remaining close to the highest levels for this time of year in at least eight decades.

In Asian trade Friday, US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for November delivery was up 1.10 percent to $46.89 and Brent crude for December, a new contract, gained 0.90 percent to $50.18, at around 0300 GMT.

“News that Russia is not ruling out possible production cuts offset the increase in US stockpiles,” said Bernard Aw, market strategist at IG Markets in Singapore.

“Broadly speaking, oil prices are largely supported due to expectation that non-OPEC production will begin to decline, while global demand is likely to pick up next year, according to OPEC forecast,” he told AFP.

The meeting in Vienna on October 21 involves technical consultations between OPEC and non-OPEC crude producers.

Russia is among the world’s top oil producers alongside OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia and the United States.

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