Oil prices jump again on hope of supply cut
Oil prices jumped about 5% on Tuesday, reacting to another wave of speculation that the world's biggest exporters may be hatching a plan to cut supply.
The trigger for the price gains was a report late Monday that the oil ministers of Saudi Arabia and Russia would meet the following day in Qatar. The report, published by Bloomberg, cited a person familiar with the talks.A source close to one of the delegations confirmed to CNNMoney that the meeting was taking place Tuesday.
U.S. crude futures were trading 5% higher at nearly $31 a barrel, while global benchmark Brent crude was up more than 6% at $35.World markets are still awash with oil because OPEC and Russia are pumping out barrels at a record rate, and U.S. shale production is falling only very slowly -- despite the 70% price crash since 2014.
At the same time, demand is faltering due to weaker global economic growth.
OPEC members such as Nigeria and Venezuela have been leading the calls for a coordinated production cut to boost prices, but Saudi Arabia and other low cost producers in the Gulf have thus far refused to play ball.They worry that without a broader agreement including producers outside the cartel, and Russia in particular, OPEC would simply surrender more of its shrinking market share.
Several rounds of exploratory talks have taken place in the last few months, fueling oil price volatility as traders bid up prices in the hope of a deal only to sell again when the effort falls flat.
Tuesday's meeting brings together the global oil market's top two exporters. But there's no guarantee of a deal.
Still, investors appear to be betting that the flurry of diplomacy is making progress -- oil prices jumped 12% alone on Friday, just a day after they plummeted to $26.05, the lowest level since May 2003.