On Thursday (16 Mar), the crude oil contract closed higher after Saudi Arabia and Russia discussed ways to build stability in the oil market.
- WTI crude oil contract increased by 74 cents or 1.1% to close at $68.35/barrel.
- Brent crude oil contract rose by $1.37 or 1% to close at $74.70/barrel.
According to Saudi government media, Prince Abdul Ascez Bin Salman, the Energy Minister of Saudi Arabia, and Alexander Novak, Deputy Prime Minister of Russia, met in Riyadh to discuss the efforts of the OPEC Plus group to maintain the balance of the oil market. Both countries are committed to reducing oil production by 2 million barrels/day until the end of 2023, as decided at the OPEC Plus meeting in October last year.
The news of the meeting helped support the crude oil contract to move into positive territory, after both the WTI and Brent oil contracts had fallen by more than 1% and touched their lowest level in almost 15 months during the day.
Investors in the oil market were also relieved by the news that the Swiss central bank had rescued Credit Suisse, and the US Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen, had confirmed that the US bank system remained strong.
The depreciation of the dollar also had a positive impact on the market. The Dollar Index, which measures the dollar’s movement against six major currencies, fell by 0.21% to touch 104.4151 last night. This made crude oil contracts cheaper for investors holding other currencies.