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Oil Futures Recover After Early Losses, Settle Higher

Crude oil futures rebounded after early weakness and settled modestly higher on Monday, supported by OPEC-led production cuts and on U.S. sanctions against Iran and Venezuela.

OPEC's de-facto leader Saudi Arabia said over the weekend that the alliance will "stay the course" on restricting output as inventories continued to remain high.

A report from the Energy Information Administration said crude oil production from major U.S. shale plays its forecast to climb by 85,000 barrels a day in April to 8.592 million barrels a day.

The report said that oil output from the Permian Basin is expected to climb sharply, rising 40,000 barrels a day in April from March.

West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for April ended up $0.57, or about 1%, at $59.09 a barrel, the highest settlement on more than 4 months.

On Friday, oil futures for April ended down $0.09, or 0.2%, at $58.52 a barrel.

According to reports, OPEC and its allies have reportedly canceled a meeting they had scheduled for in April, in order to assess the impact of U.S. sanctions on Iran and Venezuela.

The OPEC expects the market will remain oversupplied through the first half of 2019, said Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih at a committee meeting in Baku, Azerbajian.

The Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC), which met today, said that "overall conformity" with the production cut agreement among the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and some nonmember allies that began at the start of the year rose to almost 90% in February, up from 83% in January.

The JMMC said its next meeting will be in May and then the full group of OPEC will gather on June 25 to decide on output cut extensions.

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