Oil edged higher as Russia reiterated its commitment to joining a producers’ output freeze to stem a two-year slide in prices, but a strong dollar capped the gains.
Global benchmark Brent crude futures were 44 cents higher at $51.82 a barrel.U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was trading at $50.95 a barrel, up 32 cents from its last settlement.
Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said an oil production freeze agreement was necessary to prop up prices and that he would make proposals to his Saudi Arabian counterpart this weekend. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries will hold a meeting on Nov. 30 to find common ground on capping output. This is expected to work out how each member country will contribute to a freeze.
Oil-producing countries are hoping for higher crude prices to boost their economies. Nigeria’s finance minister said on Friday he hoped oil prices would stabilize in a range of $42-50 a barrel.A rise in the dollar to touch a seven-month high against a basket of currencies, in its third straight week of gains, prevented oil prices from pushing higher.
A stronger dollar means dollar-denominated commodities become more expensive to hold, making it less attractive for investors to buy them.