Oil reaches highest level since February 2020

Brent crude rose 85 cents to $54.45 a barrel at 1050 GMT, its highest level since February 2020

                                

Oil prices rose to their highest in 11 months following Saudi Arabia’s announcement of a huge voluntary production cut.

Brent crude rose 85 cents to $54.45 a barrel at 10.50 GMT, its highest level since February 2020, after rising about five per cent on Tuesday.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures were up 52 cents to $50.45 a barrel, also their highest since February. The contract on Tuesday, January 5 closed up 4.6 per cent.

Meanwhile, US crude oil inventories fell by 1.7 million barrels in the week to January 1, to 491.3 million barrels, data from industry group the American Petroleum Institute showed. 

That figure comes as Saudi Arabia announced it would make additional, voluntary oil output cuts of one million barrels per day (bpd) in February and March, after a meeting of the OPEC+.

However, with coronavirus cases still spreading rapidly, producers are cautious of a further hit to demand.

OPEC+ agreed most producers would hold output steady in February and March while allowing Russia and Kazakhstan to raise output by 75,000 bpd in February and a further 75,000 bpd in March.

At the same time, Bitcoin reached an all-time high to trade above $35,000.

The price surge came just days after it slumped more than 10 per cent, to $29,316, following a more than 300 per cent jump in 2020 to levels above $29,000.

FURTHER READING: Bitcoin reaches record high of $34,800

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