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Oil rally loses steam after three week climb

Oil prices stalled at around $45 a barrel on Monday after three weeks of bullish trade pushed prices to five month highs last week.

The benchmark Brent crude price has soared over 20pc from $37.50 in the first week of April to a closing price of $45.15 on Friday, despite failed talks between the world’s largest producers to agree a production freeze.

A short-lived Kuwaiti oil worker strike and lower than expected US oil stock data helped ease market concern over the chronic oversupply which earlier this year depressed market prices to their lowest level in over a decade.

But by Monday morning traders began to cash out their positions to lock in the healthy gains, amid concern that the recent gains might be overblown.

Brent opened slightly below Friday’s close and slipped to lows of $44.28 a barrel by late morning before recovering to around $45 by the late afternoon.

The benchmark Brent crude price has soared over 20pc from $37.50 in the first week of April to a closing price of $45.15 on Friday, despite failed talks between the world’s largest producers to agree a production freeze.

A short-lived Kuwaiti oil worker strike and lower than expected US oil stock data helped ease market concern over the chronic oversupply which earlier this year depressed market prices to their lowest level in over a decade.

But by Monday morning traders began to cash out their positions to lock in the healthy gains, amid concern that the recent gains might be overblown.

Brent opened slightly below Friday’s close and slipped to lows of $44.28 a barrel by late morning before recovering to around $45 by the late afternoon.