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The downturn in prices, which took place after three straight weeks of gains, seems to have been triggered by the rebounding production in the US coupled with concerns that OPEC will not agree to extend the production cuts past June.

Stratas Advisors' short-term forecasting team believes that reaction of the market last week was overdone and that the price of Brent crude will still reach $60 before the end of second quarter.

U.S. drillers increased the number of oil rigs for a 14th consecutive week to a total of 688 rigs, which is expected to give a boost to United States shale production next month.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for June delivery shed 39 cents to settle at $49.23 a barrel, while on London's Intercontinental Exchange, Brent traded at $52.16 a barrel, down 28 cents. "The situation is getting more and more stable and there's less volatility on the market". That is likely another sign the momentum and sentiment from traders has switched from bullish to bearish, brokers and analysts said.

"Since its trough on May 27, 2016, producers have added 372 oil rigs (+118 per cent) in the U.S.", Goldman Sachs said in a note following the release of the data.

Mr. Staunovo said that when OPEC meets in May they will have to assess whether their cuts have reduced global stocks while also considering what impact reverting to higher output could have on oil prices.

Investors are now wondering whether current production cuts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russian Federation will ultimately be enough to sufficiently cut into global supplies. This would be the largest increase in a month increase in more than two years.

Oil prices fell steeply last week on the back of stubbornly high crude supplies, despite a pledge by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and some other producers to cut production by nearly 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) for six months from January 1 to support the market.

"What worries the market is what if production cut doesn't work".

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index lost 0.6 per cent.


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