May 1, 2017 / 12:53 AM / 9 months ago

Oil prices inch down as oversupply concerns fester

TOKYO, May 1 (Reuters) - Oil prices edged down on Monday on worries that OPEC-led production cuts may not significantly tighten an oversupplied market in the short term despite talk of extending them.

NYMEX crude for June delivery was down 12 cents at $49.21 a barrel by 0032 GMT, after settling up 36 cents on Friday. The contract is up about 2 percent from a one-month low hit on Thursday.

London Brent crude for new front-month delivery in July was down 14 cents at $51.91.

Iran’s oil minister said on Saturday that OPEC and non-OPEC countries had given positive signals for an extension of output cuts, which Tehran would also back.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)meets this month to discuss oil supply policy.

If OPEC agrees to extend the cuts, then bloated global inventories could drain by the end of the year, a Reuters poll of economists and analysts showed.

Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said on Saturday there was consensus with Central Asia over oil markets and production levels.

Falih, who had arrived on a visit to Turkmenistan earlier and is on a tour of Central Asian nations, also tweeted there was agreement with the region on the necessity of sticking to production cuts.

Oil prices have got no firm support from rising geopolitical tensions surrounding North Korea. U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday stepped up outreach to allies in Asia to secure their cooperation to pressure North Korea over its nuclear and missile programs.

Trump’s calls to the two Asian leaders came after North Korea test-launched another missile that Washington and Seoul said was unsuccessful but which drew widespread international condemnation.

Money managers cut their net long U.S. crude futures and options positions for the first time in four weeks in the week to April 25, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) said on Friday. (Reporting by Osamu Tsukimori; Editing by Joseph Radford)

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