Oil gains 2 percent, extending rally from December lows

Goldman cuts 2019 crude price view; sees recovery from current levels

Oil prices continued to rebound on Monday, erasing part of the steep losses in December, as an OPEC-led output cut deal, going into effective this month, has begun to play its role. US crude rose $1.26 to $49.22 a barrel.

Oil has gained almost 12 per cent since last Monday, its biggest week-on-week rally since early December 2016.

Brent crude futures were up 1.3 percent at $57.77 per barrel, as of 0512 GMT, while WTI prices were at $48.72 per barrel, up 1.6 percent.

Opec and sovereign producer allies outside the exporters' group led by Russian Federation agreed in December to cut production to the tune of 1.2 million barrels per day starting January for a period of six months.

Apicorp noted that the cuts to production undertaken by Opec and allies may not be sufficient to balance the market, which may see build up of inventory levels, particularly as U.S. shale is expected to top 12 million bpd during the second half of the year.

Oil closed at a three-week high as US negotiators touted progress in trade talks with China and investors gained faith that OPEC will shrink output.

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Last year, oil prices ended lower for the first time since 2015, after a desultory fourth quarter that saw buyers flee the market.

The US production of shale oil, which has added 5 mmbbl of oil to US output over the last decade to move America onto a similar level as Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation at around 11 mmbbl a day, has put a consistent downward pressure on oil prices in recent years.

American crude stockpiles probably declined by 2.7 million barrels last week, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of analysts ahead of government data on Wednesday.

US crude inventories at Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point for USA crude futures, fell by 565,000 barrels from last Tuesday to Friday, traders said, citing data from market intelligence firm Genscape. "When stock markets are strong oil usually follows suit", PVM Oil Associates strategist Tamas Varga said. Disruptions to trade undermine prospects for economic growth and oil demand. Shares have risen on expectations that trade talks this week between the United States and China will ease the trade war.

S&P Global Ratings said it had lowered its average oil price forecasts for 2019 by $10 per barrel to $55 and $50 per barrel for Brent and WTI, respectively. The dispute has weighed on economic growth, the Guardian reported.

"Oil prices are projected to be flat, on average, during 2019-21, at $67 per barrel, potentially limiting fiscal and export revenue increases in oil-producing economies", the WB analysts say adding that the uncertainty of the forecasts is high.

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