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Oil Futures End Notably Higher As Saudi Stays Firm On Supply Cuts

(RTTNews) - Crude oil prices moved higher on Monday, lifted by reports that Saudi Arabia is planning to extend output cuts.

The notable drop in U.S. oil rig-count last week and the ongoing U.S. sanctions on Iran and Venezuela supported oil's uptick.

West Texas Intermediate Crude futures for April ended up $0.72, or 1.3%, at $56.79 a barrel.

On Friday, crude oil futures for April ended down $0.59, or 1%, at $56.07 a barrel on demand growth concerns after data showed a weak jobs growth in the U.S. and a sharp plunge in Chinese exports.

Brent Crude futures for May moved up $0.84, or 1.3%, to $66.58 a barrel, extending previous week's 1% rise.

The Bloomberg reported, citing a Saudi official as saying that the country will supply its clients with significantly less oil than they requested in April, extending deeper-than-agreed production cuts into a second month, aiming to prevent a supply glut in the market.

According to reports, Saudi Arabia's energy minister Khalid al-Falih said that it would be too early to change a production curb pact agreed by OPEC and its allies, before June.

Next week, the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee is scheduled to meet in Azerbaijan to review compliance with output reductions, and in mid April, the OPEC is scheduled to meet to take stock of the situation. Another gathering of OPEC and allies is scheduled for June 25-26.
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