Oil prices stable as market predicts emergency OPEC meet

LONDON - Oil prices steadied on Thursday, with New York crude above 89 dollars a barrel as investor sentiment improved across financial markets worldwide after recent turmoil.

By (AFP)

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Published: Thu 9 Oct 2008, 6:23 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 2:15 PM

With prices far below record high points around 147 dollars reached in July, analysts said on Thursday that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) could soon announce an emergency policy meeting to cut output.

New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in November, climbed 23 cents to 89.18 dollars a barrel in electronic trade.

Brent North Sea crude for November eased one cent to 84.35 dollars a barrel.

‘Market participants are still very much concerned that (oil) demand will continue to dwindle as global economies continue to slow sharply,’ said Sucden analyst Nimit Khamar in London.

‘However, increased expectations that OPEC may hold an (emergency) energy meeting and cut output is underpinning the market.’

Oil prices briefly fell to one-year lows on Wednesday as slumping stock markets increased concerns about falling demand for energy in a cooling global economy.

The market had also ended lower as news of an unexpectedly sharp jump in US crude reserves signalled weaker demand in the United States, the world's largest energy consuming nation.

The Department of Energy said on Wednesday that US crude oil inventories had risen by 8.1 million barrels in the week ended October 3, far more than market expectations of a 2.3-million-barrel gain.

European stock markets rebounded slightly on Thursday as governments rushed to protect ailing banks and their savers, while Asian shares ended mixed after world indices endured sharp falls a day earlier. Wall Street was to reopen at 1330 GMT.

OPEC member Libya called on Tuesday on crude producing countries around the world to cut output to protect their incomes should the market continue trading at current levels.

Crude oil futures have in recent days traded within a band of about 80-95 dollars a barrel.

‘I would guess that OPEC is going to step in,’ Argus Media oil analyst Jason Feer said on Thursday.

Feer added there was an ongoing realisation that no matter how much money central banks pumped into the financial system, the measure was insufficient ‘to prevent a pretty significant drop in global oil demand.’

Oil had nosedived under 90 dollars per barrel on Monday, hitting eight-month low points.

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