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HONG KONG, Feb 26 ― Oil headed for the biggest weekly advance since August as Russia said talks with Iran are continuing before a meeting next month on a proposed output freeze amid a global glut.
Futures were little changed in New York, up 12 per cent for the week. Russia’s proposed output cap with Saudi Arabia will need to be in place for a minimum of 12 months to support prices, Energy Minister Alexander Novak said yesterday. A meeting with Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh is possible next month, he said. Iran, seeking to boost exports after sanctions were lifted, said the deal is “ridiculous,” while Iraq said a pact hinges on unified support.
Crude is still down 11 per cent this year on speculation a worldwide surplus will be prolonged amid brimming US stockpiles and the outlook for increased shipments from Iran. Producers are in discussions about a site for a meeting next month on the production freeze, Venezuelan Oil Minister Eulogio Del Pino said during a television broadcast on TeleSur.
West Texas Intermediate for April delivery was at US$33.08 (RM138.73) a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, up 1 cent, at 7.46am Hong Kong time. The contract rose 92 cents, or 2.9 per cent, to US$33.07 yesterday. Prices are heading for a second weekly gain.
Brent for April settlement climbed 88 cents, or 2.6 per cent, to US$35.29 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange yesterday. Prices are up 6.9 per cent for the week. The European benchmark crude ended the session at a premium of US$2.22 to WTI. ― Bloomberg