Sharp rise in oil prices amid fall in US inventories, drilling and outages

Monday has seen oil prices extend last week's rally- US crude rose to hover under US$40 a barrel while Brent inched past US$42 a barrel. Oil prices rose, extending a sharp rally seen at the end of last week after a drop in U.S. inventories and drilling, while outages and hopes that exporters could freeze output also supported prices, as per Reuters. Oil futures were further underpinned as analysts forecast that global oil demand could accelerate, helping tighten a market that has suffered from oversupply since mid-2014. U.S. energy firms cut oil rigs for a third straight week to the lowest since November 2009 as companies slash spending. Drillers cut 8 oil rigs in the week to April 8, bringing the total rig count to 354. Brent was lifted by production outages in the North Sea and West Africa, and by hopes that a meeting of exporters planned for April 17 would lead to an agreement to rein in ballooning overproduction - estimated at about 1 mln bpd in excess of demand.
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