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UPDATE 3-Oil hits highest in a year on growth hopes, OPEC+ cuts

· 02/04/2021 23:42
UPDATE 3-Oil hits highest in a year on growth hopes, OPEC+ cuts

Brent hits highest since February 2020

OPEC+ maintains policy aimed at tightening supply

U.S. crude stockpiles fall to lowest since March

Updates prices, adds quote, previous SINGAPORE

By Alex Lawler

- Oil hit its highest level in a year above $59 a barrel on Friday supported by hopes of a quicker economic revival and supply curbs by OPEC and its allies.

New orders for U.S.-made goods rose more than expected in December, pointing to continued strength in manufacturing. The U.S. Congress is also moving ahead on President Joe Biden's COVID-19 relief plan. nL1N2K926DnL1N2K91C8

Brent crude LCOc1 was up 69 cents, or 1.2%, to $59.53 by 0910 GMT, after hitting $59.67, its highest since Feb. 20, 2020. U.S. crude CLc1 was up 66 cents, or 1.2%, to $56.89, after reaching $56.95, its highest since Jan. 22, 2020.

"The conditions still remain supportive for oil markets," said Jeffrey Halley, analyst at brokerage OANDA. "Oil should find plenty of willing buyers on any material dip."

Brent is on track to rise more than 6% this week.

The rollout of COVID-19 vaccines is fuelling hopes of lockdowns being eased and people moving around more, boosting fuel demand.

Oil also gained support from supply curbs by major producers. OPEC and its allies stuck to their supply-tightening policy at a meeting on Wednesday. Record OPEC+ cuts have helped lift prices from historic lows last year. nL1N2K91JQ

"OPEC+ discipline has been a real positive," said Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets.

Further boosting the market, a weekly supply report showed a drop in U.S. crude inventories to their lowest level since March, suggesting output cuts by OPEC+ producers to avert a stock build-up are working. EIA/S


(Additional reporting by Sonali Paul in Melbourne, Roslan Khasawneh and Koustav Samanta in Singapore; editing by Jason Neely)

((alex.lawler@thomsonreuters.com; +44 207 542 4087; Reuters Messaging: alex.lawler.reuters.com@reuters.net))