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Oil Trades Near $45 as Saudi Arabia, Russia Fall Short of Freeze

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(Bloomberg) — Oil traded near $45 a barrel as talks between Russia and Saudi Arabia over ways to stabilize the crude market fell short of an output freeze.

Futures were up 1.3 percent Tuesday, paring gains of as much as 4.7 percent since the close on Friday amid speculation Russia and Saudi Arabia would announce plans to stabilize the market. Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said at the G-20 summit in China on Monday there’s no need to freeze production now and he is optimistic a meeting later this month between producers in Algiers would lead to an agreement. His Russian counterpart, Alexander Novak, said the two nations were seeking ways to ease oil market volatility.

Crude rose the most in two weeks on Friday as President Vladimir Putin said he’d like OPEC and Russia to agree to a freeze. Putin met Saudi Deputy Crown Prince  Mohammed bin Salman on Sunday. Oil rallied last month amid speculation members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and other producers would agree to cap production when they meet in Algiers. A similar proposal was derailed in April over Saudi Arabia’s insistence that Iran participate.

West Texas Intermediate for October delivery rose as much as $2.09 to $46.53 a barrel from the Sept. 2 close on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at $45.02 at 8:10 a.m. Tokyo time. Electronic transactions from Monday will be booked with Tuesday’s for settlement purposes because of the U.S. Labor Day holiday.

Brent for November settlement rose 80 cents, or 1.7 percent, to close at $47.63 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange on Monday.

By Stephen Stapczynski.

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