Oil rebounds as producers agree to meet

16th March 2016, Comments 0 comments

Oil prices rebounded Wednesday, as Qatar said producers from within and outside OPEC would meet next month to discuss a freezing of output.

Prices had been falling heavily prior to the announcement after Iran said at the weekend it would not join talks, originally set for March 20, until its production had hit 4.0 million barrels per day.

The meeting proposed by the world's top two producers, non-OPEC nation Russia and OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia, has now been pushed back to April 17.

At about 1200 GMT, US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for delivery in April was up 73 cents at $37.07 a barrel.

Brent North Sea crude for May delivery won 69 cents to $39.43 a barrel.

Qatari energy minister Mohammed al-Sada on Wednesday said April's meeting would be a "follow-up" to last month's talks between Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela when they proposed an accord to freeze oil output at January levels.

He said 15 countries accounting for some 73 percent of global oil output supported the initiative, including the world's top exporter Saudi Arabia, and Russia.

Markets were meanwhile awaiting a weekly official report on US crude inventories and production data later Wednesday, as well as the conclusion of the Federal Reserve's latest policy meeting to see if it provides guidance on its plans for interest rates.

A rate increase would typically bolster the dollar, which would make dollar-priced oil more expensive, hurting demand.

© 2016 AFP

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