Oil’s Sedate Market Poised for Data Shot on OPEC-Led Cuts

Oil prices caught in a trance above

$50 a barrel are set for a jolt as evidence on pledged output curbs from OPEC and other producing nations hits the market over two sessions.

The International Energy Agency and OPEC will publish their monthly oil market reports on Friday and Monday, respectively, which will provide their first full-month production and inventory data since the group’s decision to cut supply took effect on Jan. 1. Tanker-tracker Petro-Logistics SA estimated late last month that OPEC had implementedabout 75 percent of cuts, while a Bloomberg survey predicts the group is about 60 percent of the way toward its target.

“The goal of the agreement is to reduce global inventories, so we’ll need to see evidence of that occurring,” said Daniel Hynes, an analyst in Sydney at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. “There are some that see OPEC doing more than expected and there’s definitely increasing confidence in the group reaching its targeted cuts.”

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and 11 other nations including Russia are seeking to trim about 1.8 million barrels a day during a six-month period to help stabilize the market. Iran says the deal should be extended into the second half of this year, while U.S. shale producers are taking advantage of firmer prices and boosting supply.

West Texas Intermediate for March delivery rose as much as 29 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $52.63 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange and traded at $52.61 at 1:31 p.m. in Hong Kong. Thecontractaveraged $52.61 a barrellastmonth.

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