Oil prices gained nearly 3% today, supported by OPEC-led production cuts, which Saudi Arabia said it would surpass by more than half a million barrels per day, and by US sanctions against Iran and Venezuela. 

Brent crude futures were up $1.65, or 2.7%, at $63.16 a barrel this afternoon. 

US West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures also gained 2.7%, rising by $1.40 to $53.81. 

Markets are tightening because of voluntary production cuts from January 1, led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies including Russia, aimed at forestalling a global overhang. 

Saudi Arabia, the world's top oil exporter and de facto leader of OPEC, said it would reduce crude production to about 9.8 million bpd in March, over half a million bpd more than it had originally pledged. 

Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih announced the move in an interview with the Financial Times published today as the kingdom seeks to drive up oil prices to help to fund an economic transformation plan. 

However, rising US oil production, fighting near Libya's main oilfield, sanctions on Venezuela and suspense over whether Washington will grant more waivers to import Iranian oil have left markets unsure about broader supply. 

OPEC cut its forecast for 2019 world oil demand today, citing slowing economies and expectations of faster supply growth from rivals, underlining the challenge it faces in preventing a glut. 

Also on the radar are hopes expressed by US and Chinese officials that a new round of talks, which began in Beijing on Monday, would bring them closer to easing their months-long trade war. 

Beijing and Washington are trying to hammer out a deal before a March 1 deadline, without which US tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports are scheduled to increase to 25% from 10%.