Oil Prices Move Higher, Settle At Over 2-month High

Oil Prices Move Higher, Settle At Over 2-month High

Crude oil prices moved up sharply on Monday, as crude exports from Iran dropped and top oil producers signaled they were in no rush to increase output.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures for November ended up $1.30, or 1.8%, at $72.08 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the highest settlement in 2-1/2 months.

On Friday, crude oil futures for November ended up $0.46, or 0.70%, at $70.78 a barrel.

Brent crude for November ended up $2.40, or about 3.1%, at $81.20 on ICE Futures Europe, the highest settlement price since end 2014.

Crude exports from Iran dropped down, and more reduction is likely with U.S. sanctions on Iranian oil set to take effect from November. Meanwhile, leading oil producers, led by Saudi Arabia and Russia signaled they were in no hurry to increase output.

U.S. President Donald Trump had called on the OPEC countries to lower prices last week. Saudi Energy Minister Khalild al-Falih said on Sunday that he does not influence prices.

Several analysts expect crude oil prices to move closer to $100 a barrel by next year as U.S. sanctions against Iran may tighten markets.

JPMorgan is of the view that a drop in Iranian crude exports could lead to a loss of 1.5 million bpd and lift prices to $90 per barrel. The risk that Trump's sanctions misfire is «tough to calibrate,» the bank said.

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