Oil prices have improved marginally due to strict compliance of OPEC countries for production cuts after experiencing days of steep falls this week.

However, gains were largely restricted by an increase in US crude inventory.

International Brent crude futures gained 42 cents to touch at $53.53 a barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose by 32 cents to reach $50.60, reported Reuters.

OPEC and other oil producers agreed at the end of last year to reduce output by 1.8 million barrels a day in the first six months of this year. The oil group showed strong compliance to the deal in the first month.

Kuwait’s Oil Minister stated that the compliance level has surpassed the target levels to reach 140% in the second month of this year.

According to the minister, the compliance level among non-OPEC members is around 50%-60%.

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By GlobalData
"One of the factors pressuring prices is the strengthening US dollar on rate hike expectations."

In the US, crude inventory have continued to increase in the last week, with stocks increasing by 8.2 million barrels against expectations of a two million barrel increase.

CMC Markets chief market strategist at Sydney Michael McCarthy suggested that the rise in prices can be short-term.

He was quoted by the news agency as saying: “One of the factors (pressuring prices) is the strengthening US dollar on US rate hike (expectations).”

Strong US currency makes crude oil expensive for importing countries.

On 26 March, Kuwait is scheduled to hold a ministerial meeting to review compliance with output cuts. This meeting will be attended by both OPEC and non-OPEC countries.