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Thu 25 May 2017 09:37 AM

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Oil resumes gain toward $52 ahead of OPEC meeting

Crude has climbed as Saudi Arabia and non-OPEC member Russia rally support for an extension into 2018 of the output-cut deal

Oil resumes gain toward $52 ahead of OPEC meeting
UAE Minister of Energy Suhail bin Mohammed al-Mazroui (C) speaks to journalists in his hotel in Vienna, Austria on May 24, 2017 on the eve of the OPEC meeting. (JOE KLAMAR/AFP/Getty Images)

Oil climbed to a five-week high, nearing $52 a barrel before OPEC ministers meet in Vienna to decide on extending supply cuts.

Futures rose as much as 1.1 percent in New York after closing lower Wednesday for the first time in six sessions. A committee of OPEC members and its allies recommended prolonging the curbs for another nine months, according to a statement from the group. A final decision is expected Thursday. In the US, oil inventories fell a seventh week while output gained, government data showed.

Crude has climbed as Saudi Arabia and non-OPEC member Russia rally support for an extension into 2018 of the output-cut deal by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies. While stubbornly high global inventories have taken longer than expected to drain, signs that U.S. stockpiles are easing from a record is adding to optimism.

“The market is waiting for the outcome of the meeting; it’s clearly going to have an impact,” said Michael McCarthy, a chief market strategist at CMC Markets in Sydney. “The agreement has been remarkable with the discipline showed by participants so far. In that respect, it’s been a success.”

West Texas Intermediate for July delivery was at $51.73 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 11:43 a.m. in Hong Kong. Front-month prices earlier rose as much as 57 cents to $51.93, the highest intraday level since April 19. Total volume traded was about 38 percent above the 100-day average. Futures lost 11 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $51.36 on Wednesday.

Brent for July settlement added as much as 58 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $54.54 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. Prices fell 19 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $53.96 on Wednesday. The global benchmark crude traded at a premium of $2.65 to WTI.

At Wednesday’s committee meeting, members agreed to monitor the market and take “further adjustment actions, if deemed necessary.” The nine-month extension to be discussed Thursday could include an option for an extra three months, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said separately in Vienna.

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