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Brent oil climbs above $30 after Trump's tweet

Brent oil climbs above $30 after Trump's tweet
Benchmark spikes after Trump says he expects Russia, Saudi Arabia to soon reach oil deal

By Nuran Erkul Kaya and Ovunc Kutlu

ISTANBUL/ANKARA (AA) - The price of Brent crude climbed above $30 after U.S. President Donald Trump announced Thursday he spoke with Saudi and Russian leaders and expects a substantial lowering of production levels.

The international benchmark climbed to as high as $30.86 per barrel at 1436 GMT -- a 38.5% increase after closing Wednesday at $22.27. The benchmark retreated to $25.91 at 1544 GMT when its daily gain was 16.3%.

American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) jumped to $26.94 at 1443 GMT for a daily gain of 28.16% after ending Wednesday at $21.02. WTI fell to $24.51 at 1546 GMT when its daily gain was 16.6%.

Trump said he spoke with his "friend" Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman in a bid to have the Kingdom and Russia lower oil production as prices continue to sit near record lows.

"Just spoke to my friend MBS (Crown Prince) of Saudi Arabia, who spoke with President Putin of Russia, & I expect & hope that they will be cutting back approximately 10 Million Barrels, and maybe substantially more which, if it happens, will be GREAT for the oil & gas industry!" Trump said on Twitter.

Trump said in a follow-up tweet that production cuts in Russia and Saudi Arabia could hit 15 million barrels, which he said would be "Good (GREAT) news for everyone!"

Oil prices declined after Saudi Arabia and Russia became locked in a war regarding production, with both nations ramping up output after a pact between the Saudi-led OPEC and Russia expired.

During an OPEC+ conference March 6 in Vienna, Saudi Arabia and Russia failed to agree on deeper cuts to production levels to mitigate the adverse effects of coronavirus on weakening global oil demand.

After the conference, both nations announced they would boost crude oil output beginning in April, triggering a war for greater market share.

On March 30, Brent crude plummeted to $21.67 and WTI fell to $19.04 to mark their lowest levels since 2002, because of coronavirus-related weak economic activity and low global demand, coupled with OPEC+ countries failing to make deeper and longer cuts into oil production levels.

- Kremlin spokesperson refutes Trump's tweet

Meanwhile, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov refuted Trump's claim that Russian President Vladimir Putin and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman discussed oil markets.

"No, no such talk happened between the two sides," Peskov told Russian news agency RIA Novosti shortly after Trump's tweets.

Peskov had already announced Thursday there would be no discussion with the Saudi administration about Putin's agenda.

Additionally, Saudi Arabia's news agency SPA reported the Kingdom called for an urgent meeting between OPEC and OPEC+ countries led by Russia to create "a fair agreement" to stabilize oil markets.

The Kingdom seeks a meeting to support the global economy under the extraordinary conditions and in consequence of Trump's request to balance the markets.

source: News Feed
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