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Oil rises on positive forecasts, slow recovery in US production




LONDON (Reuters) – Oil prices rose on Tuesday, supported by the likely easing of COVID-19 lockdowns around the world, positive economic forecasts and lower production as US supplies were slow to return after a freeze deep in Texas which halted crude production.

FILE PHOTO: An employee holds a sample of crude oil at the Yarakta Oil Field, owned by Irkutsk Oil Co, in the Irkutsk region, Russia, March 11, 2019. REUTERS / Vasily Fedosenko / File Photo

Brent rose 87 cents, or 1.3%, to $ 66.11 a barrel at 9.45 a.m. GMT, and U.S. crude rose 68 cents, or 1.1%, to $ 62.38 a barrel .

Vaccine news helps oil, as the likely removal of mobility restrictions in the coming months through vaccine deployments is expected to further boost oil demand and price recovery, said Giovanni Staunovo, oil analyst at UBS .

Commerzbank analyst Eugen Weinberg said the very bullish oil price forecasts released by major US brokers also contributed to the latest price rally.

Goldman Sachs expects Brent prices to hit $ 70 a barrel in the second quarter from $ 60 it had previously predicted, and $ 75 in the third quarter from $ 65 earlier.

Morgan Stanley expects Brent prices to climb to $ 70 a barrel in the third quarter.

New cases of COVID-19 are falling rapidly globally, mobility statistics bottom and start to improve, and in non-OECD countries, refineries are already operating as hard as they were before COVID -19, Morgan Stanley said in a note.

The disruption in Texas caused by last week’s winter storm also supported oil prices. Some US shale producers expect lower oil production in the first quarter.

Inventories of US crude oil and refined products likely fell last week, according to a preliminary Reuters poll on Monday.

A weaker dollar also provided some support for oil, as crude prices tended to move inversely to the US dollar.

Reporting by Bozorgmehr Sharafedin in London, additional reporting by Jessica Jaganathan in Singapore; edited by David Evans

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