OIL PRICES CLIMB AS IRAN ENDORSES OIL OUTPUT CAP

SINGAPORE(TIP) : Crude futures rose in Asian trade on Thursday after Iran welcomed plans by Russia and Saudi Arabia to cap production, although analysts said the move would not lead to any output cuts and Tehran offered no action of its own.

After oil prices rose in the previous session as much 8 percent, commentators suggested markets had overreacted to Iran’s support for the caps and said the Russian-Saudi move would not likely reduce the global surplus.

“I share the consensus view that producers are unlikely to reach an agreement (on cuts), the rationale being the need to satisfy two conditions,” said Ric Spooner, chief market analyst with Sydney’s CMC Markets.

“First, any price gains must offset losses achieved from volume cuts – production cuts must be meaningful -sufficiently large to achieve a substantial price increase. And they will have to involve everybody – all the major (producer) players. That will be difficult to achieve,” he said.

Brent futures rose 42 cents to $34.92 a barrel by 0555 GMT, having closed 7.2% higher in the previous session after hitting an intraday high of $34.99.

US crude gained 50 cents to $31.16 a barrel, having finished 5.6% higher in the previous session after touching a high of $31.49.

Oil prices would likely remain volatile, Spooner said, as traders and investors reacted to news and rumours about curbs on output growth and possible cuts in production.

Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh met counterparts from Venezuela, Iraq and Qatar on Wednesday but did not say if Iran would cap its output in keeping with the move by Russia, Saudi Arabia and Iraq.

Source: Reuters

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