Oil prices rise on Putin’s comments

New York: Oil prices halted four-day declines and ended higher as Russian President Vladimir Putin said he would like Russia and OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) to reach a crude output freeze.

Putin said in an interview on Friday that he may propose to complete the plan when he meets with Saudi Arabia’ s Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the Group of 20 summit in China next week, Xinhua news agency reported.

The West Texas Intermediate for October delivery added $1.28 to settle at $44.44 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for November delivery gained $1.38 to close at $46.83 a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.

Putin’s remarks bolstered market speculation for an oil output freeze in the coming weeks, which supported the oil prices on Friday.

Crude prices had been decreased for four consecutive sessions this week as investors’ concerns on the oversupply in the market intensified.

The Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report on Wednesday that the US crude inventories added 2.3 million barrels to 525.9 million barrels in the week ending August 26, beating market consensus of a 921,000-barrels gain.