Oil Prices Ease from 10-month Highs but Hold above $90 a Barrel

Oil prices dipped on Monday after fresh Saudi and Russian crude output cuts had driven prices to 10-month highs last week. 

Saudi Arabia and Russia last week announced that they will extend voluntary supply cuts of a combined 1.3 million barrels per day (bpd) until the end of the year. 

Brent crude LCOc1 fell by 40 cents, or 0.44%, to $90.25 a barrel by 0848 GMT on Monday while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude CLc1 lost 65 cents, or 0.74%, to $86.86. 

The supply cuts overshadowed continuing concern over Chinese economic activity last week, but investors looked to be focusing on demand drivers on Monday, with the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) due to release monthly reports this week. 

Mukesh Sahdev, head of downstream and oil trading at Rystad Energy, said the impact of the Saudi-led cuts would be clearer by the end of the year, when refineries finish maintenance and increase production. 

"Refinery maintenance will lower crude demand by 2 million to 2.5 million bpd in September and October, but it will rebound in November and December, partially offsetting the price effects of the cuts," Sahdev added, estimating that refinery outages will peak at 10 million bpd in October. 

Among economic factors in the spotlight, the European Central Bank (ECB) is due to announce its monthly interest rate decision this week. 

In the United States, meanwhile, August consumer price index (CPI) data is due on Wednesday. 

"The key economic number for the US this week will be US inflation data, which is likely to influence everything from stocks to forex to fixed income and commodity prices," said Naeem Aslam of Zaye Capital Markets. 

(Reuters - Reporting by Robert Harvey, Natalie Grover, Florence Tan and Emily Chow/Editing by David Goodman)

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