Oil Rises to Fresh 2-Months Highs

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By Jacob Maslow

Oil prices went up on Monday, hitting fresh two-month highs amid hopes that the 20-month oil glut would end soon.

Crude oil for April delivery gained $0.53, or 1.48% to trade higher at $36.45 a barrel by 2:45AM ET on the New York Mercantile Exchange. During the session, prices peaked at $36.72, the highest since January 5th.

According to oilfield services provider Baker Hughes, the number of oil rigs operating in the U.S. decreased for the 11th straight week last Friday, dropping to its lowest count since 2009.  A lower U.S. rig count is seen as a bullish sign for oil as it signals the likelihood of lower production in the future.

In London, Brent oil for May delivery hit an intraday peak of $39.50, the highest since January 4th, before settling at $39.12, up $0.40 cents, or 1.03% from the previous session.

Brent futures are up by approximately 25%, since falling below $30 a barrel on February 11th.

Later this week, oil traders will be looking at U.S. stockpile data on Tuesday and Wednesday for additional signs of a slowdown in U.S. production amid growing worries over a domestic supply glut.

Market players will also be watching closely the outcome of the upcoming meeting between OPEC and non-OPEC producers.

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