West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures for delivery in November were 1.3% higher at $50.45 per barrel during Monday’s pre-market trading session while Brent crude futures for delivery in December were 1.3% higher at $52.62 per barrel.
The pre-bell price gains come despite a slight rise in the value of the dollar. At the time of writing, the Dollar Index – which tracks the value of the US currency against a basket of foreign currencies – was 0.30% higher. As a dollar-denominated commodity, a higher greenback tends to make oil more expensive for foreign buyers.
Oil trading sentiment was also provided a fillip by news reports indicating that an agreement reached in principle between members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) could be translated into a deal before the end of the year.
Khalid al-Falih, Saudi Arabia’s energy minister, said on Monday that he was optimistic that a deal could be arrived at among members at OPEC’s next meeting in November, according to Reuters news agency.
Overproduction has been among the key drivers for falling oil prices over the past two years. In January, oil prices contracted to levels last seen ore than a decade earlier as supply exceeded demand.
By Fred Canto