After early year slump, crude oil returns to profit


LONDON, March 12 (Reuters) - Oil prices fell on Monday on expectations that US output will rise this year, erasing earlier gains buoyed by lower weekly USA rig counts and falling US unemployment.

Investors are weighing increased US supply against the likelihood that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries will maintain supply cuts that have been in effect more than a year.

US oil production gains nevertheless are offsetting an effort led by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to cut into the surplus on five-year oil inventories through output curtailments.

Hedge funds and money managers pared their bullish wagers on USA crude oil, with long positions falling last week for the first time in three weeks. April West Texas Intermediate crude fell 68 cents, or 1.1%, to settle at $61.36 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Joy Behar Of 'The View' Apologizes For Mike Pence 'Mental Illness' Comment
"I was raised to respect everyone's religious faith and I fell short of that", Behar said on Tuesday's edition of " The View ". After receiving backlash from conservative viewers however, Behar privately called Pence to apologize for her remarks .

Benchmark 10-year notes last rose 8/32 in price to yield 2.8663 percent. Some of that early slide was probably profit-taking after a rise on Friday, said Jim Ritterbusch, president of energy advisory firm Ritterbusch & Associates. ICE gasoil, a benchmark for diesel fuel, changed hands at $571.75 a metric ton, up 0.6% from the previous settlement.

Increased supply did not quell demand for the notes, a positive sign for the heavy issuance expected in the year ahead.

The news is expected to be light on Monday so most traders expect the price action to be driven by the U.S. Dollar and appetite for risk.

Last week's data, as well as an easing of fears over a global trade war, boosted stocks across the world.

OECD estimates global GDP growth rose 3.7 pct in 2017
A full-blown trade war could cost the global economy US$470 billion by 2020, according to analysis by Bloomberg Economics. In November 2017, the OECD predicted an increase of 3.6 percent for 2017 and 2019, and a rise of 3.7 percent for 2018.

OPEC should beware as USA shale producers are set to steal a bigger slice of the market in Asia, which consumes more oil than any other region, according to industry consultant Wood Mackenzie Ltd.

MSCI's world equity index hit a two-week high, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index closed up 1.93 percent.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI fell 104.75 points, or 0.41 percent, to 25,230.99 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 36.21 points, or 0.48 percent, to 7,597.02.

Emerging market stocks rose 1.21 percent.

NCAA women's hoops tournament: UConn could play in Albany
The NCAA released its brackets for the upcoming women's basketball tournament Monday night, including the Albany Regional. Last season, UConn came into the NCAAs as the overwhelming favorite before losing to Mississippi State in the Final Four.

Investors are focused on today on United States consumer price index data. Some of the pressure is coming from a recovery in the U.S. Dollar, which could affect foreign demand.