U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures are trading higher on Friday as major producers agreed on a compromise to continue some cuts to production to cope with coronavirus-hit demand even though these fell short of expectations. The market surged early in the session but the rally ran out of steam following a test of a key technical level. The price action suggests that traders are reluctant to chase the market higher at current price levels.
Gains are likely being capped by mixed to bearish feelings over the OPEC+ compromise, but underpinned by the optimism surrounding the rollout of coronavirus vaccines and renewed hopes for a U.S. stimulus deal.
OPEC+ Announces a Compromise Deal
On Thursday, OPEC and its allies, including Russia, agreed to increase output by a modest 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) from January.
The increase means OPEC+ would move to cutting production by 7.2 million bpd, or 7% of global demand from January, compared with current cuts of 7.7 million bpd.
OPEC+ had been expected to extend existing cuts until at least March, after backing down from earlier plans to boost output by 2 million bpd.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said the group would now gather every month to decide on output policies beyond January with monthly increases not exceeding 500,000 bpd.
Monthly meetings by OPEC+ will make price moves more volatile and complicate hedging by U.S. oil producers.
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