Oil touches three-week highs ahead of OPEC meeting

Oil touches three-week highs ahead of OPEC meeting

LONDON - Reuters
Oil touches three-week highs ahead of OPEC meeting

AFP photo

Oil prices rose on Nov. 21 to their highest in three weeks, catching a lift from a weaker U.S. dollar and from cautious money managers, as OPEC appeared to be moving closer to agreeing an output cut when it meets next week.

Brent crude futures were up 96 cents at $47.82 a barrel by 11:57 GMT, having touched their highest level since Nov. 1, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures were up 87 cents at $46.56 a barrel.

The dollar eased off last week’s 13-1/2-year highs as Treasury yields nudged lower, bolstering oil and the broader commodities complex including copper and gold.

“Oil is already more than 1 percent higher on the day, helped by Vladimir Putin’s belief that an output deal will be reached later this month,” OANDA markets strategist Craig Erlam said.

“While loose terms may be agreed, I remain skeptical that a full detailed agreement can be both achieved and carried out by OPEC given the clear differences that are so evident between certain key members.”

President Putin said he saw no obstacle to non-OPEC member Russia agreeing to freeze oil output, which at more than 11 million barrels per day is at a post-Soviet high.

Meanwhile, OPEC members last week proposed a deal for Iran to cap, rather than cut, output.