Oil prices recover sharply

12th February 2016, Comments 0 comments

Oil markets surged Friday as traders hunted for bargains after a turbulent week, analysts said.

Crude futures in New York trading were up more than 10 percent around 1730 GMT, a day after US prices tanked towards 13-year lows. Brent crude futures rocketed 8.5 percent in London.

Thursday's sharp falls "triggered some kind of bargain-hunting", said Bernard Aw, a market strategist at trading firm IG.

He added it was unlikely that price support had come from another report suggesting the OPEC producers' cartel was open to working towards cutting output .

The point was echoed by Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets in Australia.

"Until we hear an indication from a country or from a large producer that they are prepared to cut their own production, I would severely discount these comments," he told AFP.

The Wall Street Journal quoted United Arab Emirates oil minister Suhail Al Mazrouei as saying that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries was willing to cooperate with other producers on trimming the global crude supply glut.

Speaking Friday to satellite news channel Sky News Arabia, Mazrouei said he expected supply levels on world markets to "stabilise".

"The market will oblige all (producers) not to reduce but to stabilise their output levels," he said.

The oil minister expected world demand for crude to rise this year by 1.3 million barrels per day (bpd) and also said it was "possible" that supplies from non-OPEC producers fall by 500,000 bpd.

Low oil prices have hammered OPEC's poorer producers such as Venezuela and Nigeria, but its influential Gulf members led by Saudi Arabia have refused to cut output as it looks to maintain market share in the face of competition from US shale.

OPEC has meanwhile called on non-cartel producers such as Russia to participate in any coordinated reductions to output.

In Friday deals, Brent North Sea crude for delivery in April was up $2.56, or 8.5 percent, to $32.62 a barrel.

US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for March soared $2.73, or 10.4 percent, at $28.94 a barrel compared with Thursday's close.

WTI had Thursday settled at $26.21 -- the lowest finish since May 2003.

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© 2016 AFP

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