Oil prices nudged higher on Friday as traders await cues from a meeting that could take place as soon as this weekend where major oil producers will discuss whether to extend record production cuts.
Brent crude futures were up 20 cents, or 0.5%, at $40.19 a barrel as of 0419 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 8 cents, or 0.2%, to $37.49 a barrel.
Brent has risen about 14% this week, while WTI is up nearly 6%, leaving benchmarks on track for a sixth week of gains. The surge was triggered by the output cuts amid signs of improving fuel demand as countries begin to ease lockdowns they had imposed to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies led by Russia, a grouping known as OPEC+, will meet on Saturday to discuss extending output cuts, Algeria’s Ennahar TV channel reported on Friday, citing an OPEC source.
Three OPEC+ sources said earlier a ministerial videoconference could be held this week, should Iraq and others agree to boost their adherence to existing supply cuts.
Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA, said oil prices are heading for a sixth weekly rise but gains had softened as traders are taking the prospect of Iraq’s full commitment to supply cuts “with a grain of salt”.