Crude Prices Gain Solidly In Asia Ahead Of Production Cuts

Crude prices rose solidly in Asia on Wednesday and into Europe as the first output cut deal agreed between OPEC and non-OPEC members in 15 years slated to start in the New Year is expected to see good compliance.

Traders are also watching figures from the American Petroleum Institute on Wednesday for crude and refined product inventories in the U.S.. The estimates are delayed by a day because of holidays. The U.S. Department of Energy will release official inventory numbers on Thursday.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for February delivery rose 0.50% to $54.17 a barrel. Global benchmark Brent gained 0.46% to $57.09 a barrel.

The U.S. crude contract has soared more than 25% since mid-November as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and non-OPEC members agreed near the end of this year to cut nearly 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) out of the global market aimed at boosting pries, though compliance concerns and new output Libya, exempt from the OPEC cuts, weigh on the market as does increased production by U.S. shale drillers.