NEW YORK (Reuters) - Crude oil prices settled up more than 2 percent on Monday, bolstered by a rally in U.S. gasoline and Russia’s willingness to meet other major oil producers to discuss the market.
Higher stock prices on Wall Street provided further support to oil and other dollar-denominated commodities. [MKTS/GLOB]
Global crude benchmark Brent settled at $49.25 a barrel, up $1.12 or 2.3 percent.
U.S. oil’s benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude rose 72 cents, or 1.6 percent, to finish at $46.26.
Gasoline surged 3 percent, helping drive up prices for both crude and other refined fuels.
“Fuel products are leading the way today though they also seem to be deriving their strength from the broader risk appetite contributed by the equities rally,” said Peter Donovan, broker at Liquidity Energy in New York.
Russia, one of the world’s top three oil producers, said it was prepared to meet OPEC and non-OPEC oil producers to discuss the market if such a gathering is called. A separate meeting between Russian and Saudi officials was being planned for the end of October, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak has said.
Despite those bullish signs, some analysts braced for renewed pressure on oil prices from U.S. government data this week that could show further builds in crude inventories.
A Reuters poll on Monday said U.S. crude stockpiles likely rose last week for a second straight week, citing a build of 1.8 million barrels on the average in the week to Oct. 2.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), which reports official weekly storage data on Wednesday, said in its last report that inventories rose about 4 million barrels in the week to Sept. 25.
Market intelligence firm Genscape estimated on Monday a drop of just about 150,000 barrels at the Cushing, Oklahoma storage hub for U.S. crude in the week to Oct. 2, traders who saw the data said.
Cushing inventories are key to market psychology. Genscape’s latest estimate compares with draws of more than 1 million barrels at the storage hub in recent weeks, fuelling concerns the EIA might cite a build instead of draw for Cushing in Wednesday’s report.
“We still are bearish on oil given the excess in the market and the time required to clear all the excess crude and oil products supply,” Abhishek Deshpande, London-based analyst for French bank Natixis, told the Reuters Global Oil Forum.
Additional reporting by Christopher Johnson in London and Meeyoung Cho in Seoul; Editing by W Simon, Bill Rigby and Alan Crosby