Oil rose as Gulf OPEC delegates said major producers are likely to meet in April to discuss a proposed output freeze to stabilize the market.
Futures climbed as much as 0.6 percent in New York after falling from a three-month high Monday. Talks are most likely to occur in Qatar’s capital Doha, three delegates said. Iran may join the alliance after restoring its own output to levels before sanctions were imposed, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said after meeting with his Iranian counterpart. U.S. stockpiles probably expanded last week, keeping supplies at the most since 1930.
“If there is a meeting and it does result in a decision on definitive action, that will be positive for prices, but history is against anything happening,” David Lennox, an analyst at Fat Prophets in Sydney, said by phone. “Supply is still the key factor for the market.”
Oil has rebounded after slumping to a 12-year low this year on speculation stronger demand and falling U.S. output will ease a surplus. Iranian production increased last month by the most in almost two decades following the end of international sanctions, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said in its monthly report Monday. Supply from Saudi Arabia was mostly unchanged.
West Texas Intermediate for April delivery added as much as 22 cents to $37.40 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange and traded at $37.30 at 8:04 a.m. Hong Kong time. The contract dropped $1.32 to $37.18 on Monday. Total volume traded was about 82 percent below the 100-day average.
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Brent for May settlement was 10 cents higher at $39.63 a barrel on the the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The contract declined 86 cents, or 2.1 percent, to $39.53 on Monday. The global benchmark was at a premium of 67 cents to WTI for May.
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