Oil prices rise as Saudi Arabia makes output pledgeMonday 29 February 2016 18.46
Oil prices rose more than 2% today after China moved to boost its slowing economy and Saudi Arabia pledged to work with other crude producers to limit market volatility, developments that fed hopes the oil sell-off would end.
"Crude and product prices have the ability to stabilise for a couple of months as long as storage constraints are not forcing supply to be backed up toward the producing fields," said Jim Ritterbusch of energy markets consultancy Ritterbusch & Associates in Chicago.
Brent crude's front-month futures contract was up 90 cents at $36 a barrel by 4.13pm Irish time, ahead of its expiry.
Brent's more-active second month rose more than $1.20 a barrel at the session high.
US crude's front-month rose by 70 cents to $33.48 a barrel.
Oil prices are still down about 70% from mid-2014 highs above $100 a barrel.
But a steady rebound over the past two weeks has some traders and investors thinking the market may have found a near-term bottom.
China, the world's largest oil importer, on Monday cut its reserve requirement ratio, the amount of cash banks must hold as reserves, for the fifth time in a year.
The move boosted risk appetite across financial markets.
Saudi Arabia, which is working with OPEC members Venezeula and Qatar and non-OPEC producer Russia on a plan to freeze oil output at January highs, said it wanted stability in crude prices.
Iran remained a stumbling block to the plan with its target to raise output to reach pre-sanction export levels.
The Saudi cabinet said in a statement it "will always remain in contact with all main producers in an attempt to limit volatility and it welcomes any cooperative action".
Iran said its oil exports rose over the past month, climbing as high as 1.75 million barrels per day, adding to an already oversupplied market.