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Crude oil futures end higher as OPEC report shows big output drop

Crude oil futures ended higher on Tuesday as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) said its crude output fell by 797,000 barrels a day in January, month on month, to average 30.81 million barrels a day. De facto OPEC head Saudi Arabia, took on the bulk of output reductions as well as the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait. OPEC also lowered its demand growth forecast for this year by 50,000 barrels a day to 1.24 million barrels a day. However, upside remained capped as the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) lifted its forecasts for US crude production for this year and next and cut its 2020 forecasts for US and global benchmark oil prices. The EIA forecasts 2019 US crude production of 12.41 million barrels a day, up 2.8% from the January forecast. It also raised its 2020 output view by 2.6% to 13.2 million barrels a day. The government agency lifted its 2019 West Texas Intermediate crude price outlook by 1.1% to $54.79 a barrel, but reduced its 2020 view by 4.5% to $58.

Benchmark crude oil futures for March rose 69 cents or 1.3 percent to settle $53.10 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. April Brent crude gained 91 cents or 1.5 percent to settle at $62.42 a barrel on London's Intercontinental Exchange.

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