World stocks hit record after Fed minutes, oil up as OPEC meets

We're expecting double-digit gains for oil prices in the next three months... Investors had hoped the cartel might reduce output even further to drain a global glut that has depressed the market for nearly three years.

Just one day after OPEC announced a nine-month extension to its November production cut deal, the top oil official told reporters on Friday that "exports to the USA will drop measurably".

Ann-Louise Hittle, vice president at energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie said that the "decision in Vienna sends a signal of continued support for oil prices from OPEC which helps USA onshore drillers make plans" to further increase their production.

The deal was reached in December 2016, in which OPEC and 11 non-members, including Russian Federation, agreed to cut output by about 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) in the first half of 2017.

Oil prices dropped more than 4 percent as the market had been hoping oil producers could reach a last-minute deal to deepen the cuts or extend them further, until mid-2018. US crude sank almost 4.8 percent on Thursday on disappointment that OPEC and the other producers weren't more aggressive in extending their output cuts.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for July delivery fell 0.10% to $48.85 a barrel, while on London's Intercontinental Exchange, Brent was last quoited up 0.12% to $51.33 a barrel.

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The global crude glut has persisted even after OPEC agreed to cut production in the first half of the year.

At the same time pressure was high from investors to protect prices by limiting supply further, rather than just extending the curbs, which have already been in place for six months.

Saudi Oil Minister Khalid Al-Falih, who presided over the meeting, said he expected that the extension should reduce high crude inventories to a level corresponding to "the five-year average by the end of the year".

Opec said the cuts could be extended at the next meeting. Beyond bloated inventories, one of the main reasons markets have not tightened more has been US oil production, which has soared more than 10 percent since mid-2016 to 9.3 million bpd.

Goldman Sachs warned that the biggest risk to oil markets was what would happen next year, at the end of the OPEC-led production cut.

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