Oil. Picture: REUTERS
Oil. Picture: REUTERS

Singapore — Oil prices rose more than $1 a barrel on Monday after Saudi Arabia, Russia and Iraq backed an extension of supply cuts for another six to nine months ahead of an Opec meeting in Vienna.

Front-month Brent crude futures for September touched an intraday high of $66.44 a barrel and were up $1.57, or 2.4%, at $66.31 a barrel by midday.

US crude futures for August rose $1.36, or 2.3%, to $59.83 a barrel after earlier hitting a peak of $60.10, the highest in more than five weeks.

Opec and its allies look set to extend oil supply cuts until the end of 2019 after top producers endorsed a policy on Sunday aimed at propping up the price of crude.

Opec, Russia and other producers, an alliance known as Opec+, meet on Monday and Tuesday to discuss supply cuts. The group has been reducing oil output since 2017 to prevent prices from sliding amid a weakening global economy and soaring US output.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Sunday he had agreed with Saudi Arabia to extend existing output cuts of 1.2-million barrels per day (bpd) by six to nine months.

Saudi energy minister Khalid al-Falih said the deal will most likely be extended by nine months and no deeper reductions are needed.

“While this needs to be ratified by the remaining members of the Opec+ group, this appears to be a fait accompli,” ANZ analysts said in a note.

Stephen Innes, managing partner at Vanguard Markets in Bangkok, said oil prices could also be supported in the medium term because of geopolitical tensions in the Middle East and as China’s central bank eases monetary policy to offset the impact from US tariffs.

Oil prices have come under renewed pressure in recent months from rising US supplies and a slowing global economy.

US crude oil output in April rose to a fresh monthly record of 12.16-million bpd, the US Energy Information Administration said in a monthly report on Friday.

Financial markets, meanwhile, were buoyed by a thawing of US-China relations after leaders of the world’s two largest economies agreed on Saturday to restart trade talks.

Still, Citi analysts saw the announcements as a temporary truce to de-escalate the trade and tariff war, and were sceptical that both sides can reach a deal soon even though 90% of the trade deal has been completed.

“The fact that both sides have not been able to get the remainder of the deal done is difficult to comprehend, suggesting either the timing is not good or some may not want a deal,” they wrote in a note.