Oil prices up 2 percent on weaker dollar, short covering

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"Indeed, the market may simply be re-learning an old lesson that the USA shale oil sector has fundamentally changed the supply curve, with elastic supply at a break-even price that was low two years ago and is probably even lower today".

The US West Texas Intermediate crude August contract was at $43.72 a barrel by 3:25AM ET (0725GMT), up 35 cents, or around 0.8 per cent.

Imports of Saudi barrels into the U.S.so far this month have dropped below one million barrels per day for the first time since last November. "We saw this continued big rise in oil rigs last week and in our view we don't need a single additional rig for the next 12 months in the USA space if we look at balance for 2018", SEB strategist Bjarne Schieldrop said.

The rise in supplies threatens efforts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) and its partners to reduce global oil inventories with production cuts.

News from other markets show, an increase of 63 cents to $15.42 was observed in shares of Home Capital Group. After mid-June reports showed USA crude oil inventories and gasoline levels increasing, federal data from last week showed an unexpected drop in gasoline stocks, just as crude oil prices charted new lows for the year.

Traders remain concerned about OPEC's ability to co-ordinate its supply quota plan, but most analysts say oil will hover around $50 for the rest of the year.

By 4:40pm EST WTI was trading at $43.90 with Brent Crude trading at $46.34
By 4:40pm EST WTI was trading at $43.90 with Brent Crude trading at $46.34

Analysts at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch said demand had not grown quickly enough to mop up any excess output.

Hedge funds and other money managers appear to have abandoned all hope that OPEC will rebalance the oil market, slashing formerly bullish bets on crude futures and options, John Kemp, a Reuters market analyst wrote in a column. Brent advanced 0.6 %to $45.83 on Monday. Prices rose 0.9% on Monday but are down nearly 10% this month, the worst June performance in nearly 30 years.

Libya's oil production stands at about 935,000 barrels per day (bpd) this week after touching as high as 950,000 bpd last week, Libyan oil sources said.

"After how much we've fallen, prices are attractive here as a result, so it's not surprising that we're getting some buying, just on a valuation perspective".

"We don't think we're going to go below the low 40s".

Amid the rise in United States drilling activity, money managers cut net long U.S. crude futures and options holdings to their smallest long position since November. Non-OPEC nations must also cut production in order to reverse the supply glut.

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