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Oil prices rise as Saudi, Russia announce output cut for Aug

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Oil prices rose on Monday after top exporters Saudi Arabia and Russia announced supply cuts for August, overshadowing concern over a global economic slowdown and the potential for further increases to U.S. interest rates.

Saudi Arabia on Monday said it would extend its voluntary cut of one million barrels per day (bpd) for another month to include August, the state news agency said.

Russia, seeking to nudge up global oil prices in concert with Saudi Arabia, will reduce its oil exports by 500,000 bpd in August, Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said on Monday, further tightening global supplies.

The cuts amount to 1.5 percent of global supply and bring the total pledged by OPEC+ oil producers to 5.16 million bpd.

READ ALSO: Shell, BP, and other oil giants plough back profits in fresh crude search

Both Riyadh and Moscow have been trying to prop up prices. Brent has dropped from $113 a barrel a year ago, sent lower by concerns of an economic slowdown and ample supplies from major producers.

Brent crude futures were up 0.4 percent, or 32 cents, at $75.73 a barrel by 1320 GMT, having gained 0.8 percent on Friday. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude rose 0.5 percent, or 32 cents, to $70.96 after a 1.1 percent gain in the previous session.

“Investors are turning upbeat as the second half of the year kicks off. They expect tighter oil balance and buoyant equities also suggest that recession will be avoided, albeit probably narrowly,” said PVM analyst Tamas Varga.

Prices had fallen earlier in the session after business surveys showed global factory activity slumped in June as sluggish demand in China and in Europe clouded the outlook for exporters.

Fears of a further economic slowdown denting fuel demand had grown on Friday as U.S. inflation continued to outpace the central bank’s 2 percent target and stoked expectations that it would raise interest rates again.

Higher interest rates could strengthen the dollar, making commodities such as oil more expensive for buyers holding other currencies.

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