Brent climbs above $40 after OPEC+ extends production cuts

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Crude oil prices climbed more than 2% early on Monday as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies, including Russia, agreed on Saturday to extend their current oil production cuts until July month-end.

Brent crude rose as high as US$43.41 a barrel and U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude gained 83 cents, or 2.1%, to $40.38 a barrel with both seeing highest gains since March 6.

Brent has nearly doubled since the start of April, propped up by an unprecedented production cut of 9.7 million barrels per day by OPEC, Russia and allies.

This upward movement in oil prices came despite the civil unrest across the US that complicates the economic recovery from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic and risks a second wave of infections.

The 23-nation group known as OPEC+ will extend its total crude production curb of 9.7 million barrels per day (bpd) for a month beyond the expiry on June 30 to July 31.

Some member countries that failed to reach full conformity with their production cut quotas in May and June will have to accommodate their curbs in July, August and September under the latest arrangement.

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