Oil ticks up on weaker dollar, U.S. production outlook caps gains

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SINGAPORE (Jan 18): Crude oil futures edged higher on Wednesday with a weaker dollar underpinning the market, although gains were limited by expectations that U.S. producers would boost output.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures were trading up 3 cents at $52.51 per barrel at 0058 GMT. Brent crude oil, the international benchmark for oil prices, was up 4 cents $55.51 a barrel.

The dollar was trading near its lowest in six weeks against a basket of currencies after U.S. President-elect Donald Trump said that the strong greenback was hurting U.S. competitiveness.

A weaker greenback makes dollar-denominated crude less expensive for users of other currencies.

"A combination of a weaker U.S. dollar and supportive comments from Saudi Arabia saw crude oil prices rise," ANZ said in a note to clients.

Oil has drawn support from top crude exporter Saudi Arabia, which said it would adhere strictly to its commitment to cut output under the agreement between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other producers.

Under the agreement, OPEC, Russia and other non-OPEC producers have pledged to cut oil output by nearly 1.8 million bpd, initially for six months, to bring supplies back in line with consumption.

At the same time, U.S. oil production is set to rise towards 9 million barrels per day, the U.S. government said on Tuesday, providing headwinds to oil futures.

Representative Ryan Zinke of Montana, President-elect Donald Trump's nominee for interior secretary, on Tuesday said he would consider an expansion of energy drilling and mining on federal lands but would ensure sensitive areas remain protected. - Reuters