Oil Prices Advance Pre-Bell, WTI Approaches $51 Per Barrel

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures for delivery in December were 0.7% higher at $50.96 per barrel during Friday’s pre-market trading session while Brent oil futures for delivery in the same month were 0.9% higher at $51.83 per barrel.

The pre-bell price gains coincide with an increase in the value of the greenback the morning after the currency surged to a more than six-month high against the euro following the European Central Bank’s decision to leave its ultra-loose monetary policy unchanged.

At the time of writing, the Dollar Index, which tracks the value of the US currency against a basket of foreign currencies, was 0.26% higher. As a dollar-denominated commodity, a higher greenback tends to make oil less affordable for international buyers.

Prices have been on an generally upward trajectory for several weeks after the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) announced at the end of September that it would cut their production of oil for the first time in eight years. The agreement, whose details are yet to be finalized, comes after prices experienced more than two years of erosion as a result of excessive oversupply.

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