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Brent, WTI Gain 6%
Energy

Brent, WTI Gain 6%

Oil prices jumped on Friday on prospects of a coordinated production cut sparked by comments from the energy minister of OPEC member UAE.
Still, analysts said such a move remained unlikely and prices for Brent and US West Texas Intermediate crude were on track for weekly losses of more than 7% and 11%, respectively, weighed down by oversupply, Reuters reported.
Brent gained as much as 6% against the previous day's settle and was up 4.42% at $31.39 per barrel. WTI futures gained as much as 6% and were up 4.46% at $27.38 per barrel after hitting lows not seen since 2003 in the previous session.
"The comments by the UAE oil minister are pushing prices up ... but we're still in a long-term downturn. That hasn't changed," said Hans van Cleef, senior energy economist at ABN AMRO.
He said Friday's spike was "an indicator that it's not a one-way price movement anymore ... we will see a period of high volatility".
UAE Energy Minister Suhail bin Mohammed al-Mazrouei said the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries was willing to cooperate on an output cut, but added that cheap oil was forcing supply reductions that would help rebalance the market.
Traders said the jump in WTI could have been a result of US producers unwinding hedges they had locked in at higher prices to generate cash to service debt and costs.
Despite the UAE comments, analysts said they saw little chance of a common policy from OPEC producers.
Ayham Kamel, Middle East and North Africa director at Eurasia Group, said it was unlikely there would be a serious discussion of any deal between Iran and Saudi Arabia until there was clarity on Iran's post-sanctions output.
"Even then, the fact that US shale production is responsive to prices on a much shorter timeframe than other oil production also means that there is less of an incentive to work to transcend the geopolitical tensions and come to an agreement within OPEC, or even one including Russia," Kamel said.

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