Oil recorded a second weekly gain amid speculation that OPEC and Russia will meet to discuss trimming crude production to bolster prices.
Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said that while OPEC member Venezuela proposed a meeting next month, nothing is scheduled. Russia, after months of insisting it was happy to keep pumping at full throttle, suggested in recent comments it is open to compromise with the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. Equities climbed as the Bank of Japan’s unexpected monetary stimulus boosted confidence that central banks remain vigilant of slowing economic growth.
Oil has pared its decline this year to about 9 percent after plunging to a 12-year low. Global markets remain volatile because of concerns about brimming U.S. stockpiles and rising exports from Iran following the removal of sanctions against the country. OPEC’s January crude output climbed to the highest level in data compiled by Bloomberg going back 20 years as Indonesia’s membership was reactivated.
West Texas Intermediate for March delivery rose 40 cents to settle at $33.62 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract climbed as much as 3.6 percent to $34.40 earlier. Total volume traded was 46 percent above the 100-day average.
Brent for March settlement, which expires Friday, rose 82 cents, or 2.4 percent, to $34.71 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.