NEW YORK – Oil prices drifted on Monday (Oct 3) after Brent crude hit US$50 a barrel and US crude reached three-month highs as traders weighed weaker stock markets and a strong dollar against OPEC’s first planned output cut in eight years.
Brent rose 9 cents, or 0.2 per cent, to US$50.28 a barrel by 10:46 a.m. EDT (1446 GMT), retreating from a six-week high of US$50.90.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was unchanged at US$48.24. It earlier hit US$48.87, its highest since Jul 5.
On Wall Street, stocks started the fourth quarter on a subdued note, weighed down by healthcare and consumer stocks.
The dollar, meanwhile, added to its earlier gains versus a basket of currencies on Monday on data suggesting the US manufacturing sector grew by more than expected in September, returning into expansion territory.
Oil rallied last week, ending September higher for a second monthly gain in a row, after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries unveiled plans to reduce output to between 32.5 million and 33.0 million barrels per day from about 33.5 million bpd at its policy meeting in November.