: :inin Kyiv (EET)

Oil prices rise in thin Asian trade after break


Oil prices rose Monday after a three-day break, as optimism holds that a production freeze among major producers may be implemented, Reuters reported.
U.S. crude`s front-month contract was up 50 cents at $39.96 a barrel at 0622 GMT. Last week, the contract rose 2 cents, finishing up for a sixth straight week, according to Reuters.
Brent`s front-month climbed 45 cents to $40.89 a barrel. Last week, it fell 76 cents, or nearly 2%, its first decline in five weeks.
Oil prices have risen about 50% from multi-year lows hit in January on glut worries.
Declining U.S. oil output and strong gasoline demand were responsible for some of that recovery, but the bulk of it was powered by major producers` plans to freeze output at January`s highs, according to the report.
Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)member Iraq`s oil exports have held steady so far in March, according to loading data and industry sources, halting for now the rapid supply growth from the country.
Baghdad has given verbal support to the initiative by OPEC and outside producers to freeze output.

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