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    Oil Price Spike at Highest Mark in Weeks, Doha Output Freeze Deal Expected

    © AFP 2019 / MARWAN NAAMANI
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    Oil prices rallied on Friday, reaching some of the highest marks since early January throughout afternoon trading, with the world's leading oil producing countries remaining committed to finalizing the Doha output freeze deal.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Brent crude ICE futures fluctuated just above $35 per barrel throughout Friday morning before rapidly gaining nearly 4 percent and nearly hitting the $37-per-barrel mark, the highest seen since early January. The benchmark then fell slightly to $36.02 per barrel by 16:50 GMT, making an overall rally of nearly 2 percent from Thursday's value. WTI crude staged a similar rally, spiking at $34.59 per barrel at around 14:00 GMT, later, however, falling back down to $33.18 per barrel by 16:40 GMT and making less than 1 percent in overall gains.

    Brent May 2016 futures were over 1 percent in the green, standing at $36.19 per barrel by 17:10 GMT after spiking at over $37 per barrel in early afternoon. WTI April 2016 futures showed a more modest rally, increasing 1.3 percent to $33.50 per barrel by 17:10 GMT.

    The rally takes place a day after Venezuelan Oil Minister Eulogio Del Pino's announcement on an expected finalization of the Doha deal between Saudi Arabia, Russia, Qatar and Venezuela to freeze output at January levels throughout 2016.

    "We have reached an agreement between Russia, Saudi Arabia and Qatar to hold an extended meeting in mid-March in a city yet to be determined," Del Pino said during an interview with the TeleSUR television broadcaster.

    The minister added that the meeting's participants urge all oil producers, both Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC members, to join the deal. So far, the deal was endorsed by Iran, Ecuador, Algeria, Nigeria and the non-OPEC member Oman.

    Related:

    Doha Oil Output Freeze Deal Must Be Followed by Production Cuts
    US State Department ‘Sceptical’ of Idea to Freeze Oil Production
    OPEC Members, Other Oil Producers to Discuss Oil Freezes in March
    Saudi Arabia Hopes to Get More Agreements on Oil Freeze at March Meeting
    Tags:
    production freeze, oil prices, Crude, Brent, WTI, OPEC, Doha, Qatar
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