On Friday oil has rallied amid indications that U.S. producers may cut production as prices continue to trade at low levels, after a 7th consecutive month of falling prices. Oil prices are also rising on news from China: Beijing ordered the refineries of the country to keep a 15-day supply of oil. Although these regulations will come into force gradually over one to three years, many refineries will take advantage of low prices for stockpiling.Today Brent crude and West Texas Intermediate are trading mixed with both recovering from early session losses. Brent Crude added 0.49%, currently trading at USD53.25 a barrel, back above the important USD50 level. On January 13th Crude hit a low at USD45.19. West Texas Intermediate lost -0.37% currently quoted at USD48.06. Disappointing data from China and the U.S. weigh on prices. China and the U.S. are the world's largest consumers of oil. Russian oil production stayed near the post-Soviet production-record from last month.
Oil prices fell by nearly 60 percent over the past six months, and both key brands of oil are currently trading below $ 50 a barrel as the worldwide supply exceeds demand in a period of low global economic growth and the OPEC refusing to cut output rates to stabilize prices. Smaller OPEC members want to cut production but the organisation, responsible for 40% of worldwide production focuses on its fight for market share.