Oil inches up in quiet holiday trade, focus on crude glut
By Nia Williams
(Reuters) - Oil prices rose slightly on Monday, barely paring last week's steep losses with the market remaining cautious as increases in U.S. drilling activity have undercut an OPEC-led push to tighten supply.
Trading was subdued due to public holidays in China, the United States and Britain. The market remains uncertain about whether the extension of output cuts by OPEC and other producing countries will be enough to support prices.
Brent crude futures LCOc1 settled up 14 cents, or 0.2 percent, at $52.29 per barrel. Brent fell nearly 3 percent the previous week.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were 19 cents higher at $49.99 per barrel.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and some non-OPEC producers pledged last week to extend production cuts of around 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) until March 2018.
An initial agreement, in place since January, would have expired in June.
"This is a little bit of a bounce back from last Thursday when we had a really heavy drop," said James L. Williams, an energy economist at WTRG Economics in Arkansas.
Nine months of current production levels is not going to be enough to meet OPEC's goal of balancing supply, which is limiting price gains, he added. Continued...