Feb. 20 (UPI) -- Chatter from OPEC wasn't enough to offset a slowdown in the OECD economies in the fourth quarter, leaving crude oil prices mixed in early Tuesday trading.
Crude oil prices gained some ground Monday in a trading session lightened by the U.S. federal holiday. The price for Brent crude oil, the global benchmark, has fallen from its January peak at just above $70 per barrel, but got support from defense rhetoric against Iran from Israel's prime minister.
An effort by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, now in its second year, to drain the surplus from the five-year average of crude oil inventories held by the world's leading economies has set a floor under the price of oil of around $50 per barrel. Speaking Tuesday at a petroleum conference in London, Suhail al-Mazrouei, the Emirati energy minister and holder of the rotating OPEC presidency, said there was broad support for an extended agreement, but the details were still under consideration.
"The level of understanding we have seen in this group and achieving a mutual interest has contributed to the balance in the market and also to the world economy, giving us hope that we can draft something that is acceptable to everyone," he was quoted as saying by S&P Global Platts.
Oil prices, however, were mixed ahead of the opening bell in New York. The price for Brent crude oil was down 1 percent to $65.00 per barrel. West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. benchmark for the price of oil, was up 0.24 percent to $61.70 per barrel as of 9:15 a.m. EST.
"WTI oil prices are gaining on Brent as strong U.S. demand and Canadian pipeline issues tighten U.S. oil supply even further," Phil Flynn, the senior market analyst for the PRICE Futures Group in Chicago, said in market commentary emailed to UPI.
TransCanada's Keystone network is still operating at reduced capacity following a release in late 2017.
Elsewhere, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development reported member state growth in real gross domestic product was 0.6 percent in the fourth quarter, compared with 0.7 percent in third quarter 2017.
For the world's leading economies, Japan took the biggest hit, with fourth quarter GDP of 0.1 marking a modest slowdown from the 0.6 percent experienced in the third quarter. Both Germany and the United States posted declines, while the British economy grew from 0.4 percent to 0.5 percent.
Traders have been keeping close tabs on broader economic trends in order to search for signs of looming inflation, a trend that led to sharp declines in the equities market. Last week, the U.S. government reported the price for consumer goods increased 2.1 percent last year and the price of goods imported into the United States increased 1 percent in January, after an increase of just 0.2 percent in December.