Corporate earnings forecasts for the second quarter were lowered so much that companies are easily beating them.Market Insiderread more
The central bank is not normally in the business of easing into an economy that is showing few signs of a recession, generally holding fire until more pronounced signs of a...The Fedread more
His case for gold comes as central banks get more aggressive with policies that devalue currencies and are about to cause a "paradigm shift" in investing.Marketsread more
Challenging conditions in the U.S. housing market, along with tighter currency controls by the Chinese government, cause a stunning drop in foreign demand for American homes.Real Estateread more
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she wants her chamber to vote on a debt ceiling and budget deal by July 26.Politicsread more
Philips has acquired a start-up that texts you about your poop. That's Medumo, a Boston-based company, which works with hospitals to guide their patients through common...Technologyread more
The "'Cadillac tax," set to go into effect in 2022, is unpopular with both Republicans and Democrats, who say it punishes the middle class.Health and Scienceread more
Federal Judge William Pauley wrote in a court filing made public Wednesday that materials related to a campaign finance probe of Cohen should be unsealed — and denied a...Politicsread more
The U.S. economy continued growing at a "modest" rate in recent weeks, with consumers continuing to spend and a "generally positive" outlook overall even in the face of...Economyread more
CSX said it expects revenue to fall as much as 2% in 2019, well below a previous forecast of an increase of 1% to 2%.Marketsread more
Facebook's head of Calibra David Marcus is grilled during a House Financial Services Committee hearing over the company's digital currency plans.Technologyread more
* Brent tops $65 a barrel for the first time this year
* Partial outage hits top Saudi offshore field
* Brent to average $70 a barrel in 2019 -BoAML
* Global supply picture remains uncertain (Updates prices, adds comment, modifies throughout)
LONDON, Feb 15 (Reuters) - Brent crude oil briefly reached 2019 highs above $65 a barrel on Friday as OPEC-led supply cuts and this week's announcement of a higher than expected cut by Saudi Arabia encouraged investors.
The international oil benchmark rose as high as $65.10, pushing past $65 for the first time this year. It slipped back to $64.68 by 1045 GMT, up 11 cents.
That equated to a 0.2 percent gain, keeping Brent near three-month highs and set for a more than 4 percent gain on the week.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were at $54.49 a barrel, up 8 cents from their last settlement.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies led by Russia started voluntary production cuts last month, aiming to tighten the market.
Top exporter and de facto OPEC leader Saudi Arabia said on Tuesday it would cut more than half a million barrels per day (bpd) more in March than the deal called for, sending prices surging.
Prices were also buoyed by the partial closure of Saudi Arabia's Safaniya, its largest offshore oilfield with production capacity of more than 1 million bpd.
The shutdown occurred about two weeks ago, a source said, and it was not immediately clear when the field would return to full capacity.
"Brent should average $70 per barrel in 2019, helped by voluntary (Saudi, Kuwait, UAE) and involuntary (Venezuela, Iran) declines in OPEC supply," Bank of America Merrill Lynch said in a note.
The bank said it expects a drop of 2.5 million bpd in OPEC supply in the fourth quarter of 2019 from a year earlier.
However, the global supply picture remains uncertain.
U.S. oil production is on the rise, while the seizure of Libya's main oilfield by Eastern armed forces this week could lead to its reopening.
But U.S. sanctions on Venezuela and Iran have have helped to tighten global supply and security threats could threaten Nigerian production after general elections this weekend.
"Looking ahead, the prognosis for Venezuela and Iran remains skewed to the downside. As such, they should continue to act as important pillars of price support. The same, however, cant be said for Libya," said Stephen Brennock of oil broker PVM.
"This risks throwing a spanner in the works for OPEC's rebalancing ambitions and, therefore, the price recovery."
Faltering global economic growth is also a concern, with signs of a slowdown now abundant in Europe, Asia and the United States, which could lead to slowing growth in fuel demand.
(Reporting by Noah Browning; Additional reporting by Henning Gloystein in Singapore and Colin Packham in Sydney; Editing by Dale Hudson and David Goodman)