Brent crude rises to $51 after steep slide

A pump jack on a lease owned by Parsley Energy operates in the Permian Basin near Midland

Brent crude recovered after dipping below $50/bbl for the first time since July 2017 on the strength of a rebound by US stocks and a hint that OPEC and its partners could meet again to discuss output curbs.

But, he added, economic worries will continue to weigh unless OPEC reassures the market as to the viability of the supply cuts and "even imposes deeper ones as some members have suggested". U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures was up $1.26, or 3 percent, at $43.79. Asian stock markets retreated again on Wednesday. The U.A.E.'s energy minister, while stressing that the 1.2-million barrel-a-day cut will clear an inventory buildup in the first half, hinted additional curbs could be discussed.

After a turbulent eight weeks, during which crude oil lost almost 30 percent of its value, a last minute deal between countries of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC countries to cut production is expected to lend some stability to the market.

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The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) may hold an extraordinary meeting if the oil market fails to get balanced, according to UAE Energy Minister Suhail al-Mazrouei.

The US-China trade dispute and the prospect of a rapid rise in US interest rates have brought global stocks down from this year's record highs and ignited concern that oil demand will be insufficient to soak up any excess supply.

"I think there is a little bit of over-extension to the downside linked to global market fears". The world's biggest oil exporter plans to pump 10.2 million barrels a day in January rather than the 10.3 million allotted to it in the OPEC+ agreement. Bloomberg quoted a Rakuten Securities analyst as saying, "There are several bearish factors in oil markets, and the situation won't improve anytime soon".

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The prevailing tilt in retail position provides a contrarian view to crowd sentiment as traders go against the broader trend, but a further pullback in the IG Client Sentiment index may largely coincide with a larger rebound in crude oil prices as there appears to be an adjustment in trader behavior.

Crude-oil futures snapped back by some 8% on Wednesday, to break a string of three straight declines, after closing the pre-Christmas session at their lowest since July 2017.

Brent for February settlement dipped $1.39 to $52.43 a barrel on London's ICE Futures Europe exchange.

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