Crude Oil Prices Surge 3.1% after Saudi Purge, Best Close Since June 2015

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© Reuters.  © Reuters.

Investing.com – Crude oil prices settled higher on Monday amid a spike in political uncertainty in the Middle East after Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, through an anti-corruption crackdown made a series of moves to consolidate his power.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for December delivery rose 3.1% cents to settle at $57.35 a barrel, while on London’s Intercontinental Exchange, Brent added 3.3% to trade at $64.11 a barrel.

An anti-corruption drive led by Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman resulted in wave arrests of prominent Saudi Arabian including royals, ministers and investors, fuelling political risk in the region.

“We have political uncertainty, risk of political instability in this major oil producing country [Saudi Arabia] and also unforeseen implications for the entire region,” Commerzbank analyst Carsten Fritsch said. “It justifies a certain risk premium in the oil price”.

The anti-corruption crackdown comes as optimism grew for an extension to the output-cut agreement beyond March amid comments from Saudi energy minister Khalid al-Falih, who highlighted the importance of further cuts.

“There is a general satisfaction with the strategy of 24 countries that signed a declaration of cooperation,” Khalid al-Falih said Friday.

“Everybody recognises that (the) job is not done yet by any means, we still have significant amount of work to do to bring inventories down. Mission is not yet complete, more needs to be done,” he added.

In May, Opec producers agreed to extend production cuts for a period of nine months until March, but stuck to production cuts of 1.2 million bpd agreed in November last year.

In the U.S. meanwhile, traders continued to cheer data pointing to tightening in production after Baker Huges reported Friday that the number of oil rigs operating in the US fell by eight to 729.

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