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Oil rebounds on Trump announcement that Saudi Arabia and Russia will make deal soon

US President Donald Trump will meet with US oil executives [Getty Images]

Date of publication: 2 April, 2020

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US President Donald Trump said he expected Saudi Arabia and Russia to make a deal to end their price war over oil.
Oil rebounded strongly in Asian trade Thursday on hopes for a US intervention to end a Saudi-Russia price war amid the escalating coronavirus pandemic.

US President Donald Trump said he believes Russia and Saudi Arabia will make a deal within a "few days", Reuters reported, choosing to lower production and bringing prices back up.

"Worldwide, the oil industry has been ravaged," Trump told reporters.

"It's very bad for Russia, it's very bad for Saudi Arabia. I mean, it's very bad for both. I think they're going to make a deal."

President Trump also said he will meet with US oil executives to discuss ways to soften the blow of coronavirus on the oil market.

"I'm going to meet with the oil producers on Friday. I'm going to meet with independent oil producers also on Friday or Saturday. Maybe Sunday. We're going to have a lot of meetings on it," Trump said.

Oil prices, which have fallen by two-thirds this year amid the worldwide spread of coronavirus, rose on Thursday upon Trump's announcements.

Analysts said however the market remained hobbled by low demand because of business shutdowns, the grounding of air travel and other social distancing measures put in place to contain the outbreak.

In afternoon Asian trade, US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was trading 7.14 percent higher at $21.76 a barrel.

International benchmark Brent crude advanced 8.21 percent to $26.77 a barrel.

Both benchmarks fell to their lowest levels in 18 years on Monday, with WTI briefly dipping below $20 a barrel.

"Oil prices are higher on news that President (Donald) Trump will hold a round table discussion with the country's top oil executives," said AxiCorp global market strategist Stephen Innes.

The meeting is "presumably to discuss possible coordinated production curtailment measures in an attempt to buy some time for the struggling US shale industry," he said in a note.

Innes said that Trump's "acknowledging of the problems in the oil patch is critical" as he could be instrumental in resolving the price war that has led to the supply glut.

Phillip Futures in Singapore said oil prices were also supported by "reports that Russia does not want to boost its crude oil production in the current environment" and traders expecting US shale producers to "come under pressure to cut production".

And ANZ Bank said US crude prices were also being bolstered by reports that the US energy department might rent space in the country's emergency oil reserves to local producers.

"This would help drillers store excess crude," it said.

Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest crude exporter, on Wednesday ramped up its price war with Russia, boosting crude oil supply to record levels.

State giant Aramco offered 18.8 million barrels on a single day despite pressure from Washington.

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