Oil prices hit 2016 high on output-freeze hopes

18-Mar-2016

Oil prices have surged more than 50 per cent from 12-year lows since the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) floated the idea of a production freeze, boosting Brent from about $27 and US crude from around $26.

US oil is heading for a fifth week of gains, while Brent is on course for a fourth weekly increase, the longest rising streak in about a year for both benchmarks.

But some are urging caution after the strong gains.

“Global fundamentals are little changed and oil has instead been lifted by higher risk-appetite,” BNP Paribas said in a note. “A dialogue among key producing countries to address oil output will at best yield a decision to freeze output, but not the much-needed reduction required to rebalance the market.”

BNP estimates there will be a 1 million barrel increase in global stocks by the end of the first half of 2016. (by Reuters, Via Irish times)