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July 15, 2020, 2:38 p.m. EDT

Oil futures settle higher as U.S. crude supplies post a hefty decline, OPEC+ tapers output cuts

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By Myra P. Saefong

Oil futures settled higher on Wednesday, buoyed by data from the Energy Information Administration that revealed a 7.5 million-barrel decline in U.S. crude supplies for the week ended July 10. That was the largest weekly decline so far this year. Traders also assessed the OPEC+ Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee’s move to taper production cuts to 7.7 million barrels per day starting in August, from 9.7 million barrels. The committee said that countries which did not fully comply with output cuts are expected to make up for their overproduction, essentially contributing to actual output cuts of as much as 8.34 million barrels per day starting in August. The front-month August West Texas Intermediate oil contract rose 91 cents, or 2.3%, to settle at $41.20 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. That was the highest finish for a front-month contract since March 6, according to FactSet data.

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