Shares in Europe were little changed after Qatar Energy Minister Mohammad bin Saleh al-Sada said the ministers agreed to freeze production. Chinese shares rallied the most in three months as data showed new credit surged to a record in January. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures climbed 1.6 percent, while U.S. Treasuries led declines in government bonds as trading resumed after a holiday on Monday. The yen and euro strengthened.
Still, oil’s deepening slide this year to below $30 a barrel has put increased financial strain on export-dependent economies. There’s growing speculation that the world’s two largest crude producers will discuss cooperation on output reductions.
The back channel talks, which Qatar is brokering, had been in place for a while,these are still very early days and nothing concrete has been agreed, but there is a growing sense that countries could be more flexible, although Riyadh would insist that everyone else contribute to the cut .
Brent oil in London rose as much as $2, or 6 percent, to $35.39 a barrel on Tuesday and was trading at $35.22 at 7:43 a.m. in London. OPEC and non-members have intermittently held discussions since November 2014, when the organization first signaled it was unwilling to cut production alone to support prices. Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Russia and Mexico assembled in Vienna that month without reaching any deal.
The International Energy Agency and the EIA said this week they expect such oversupply to persist for months, keeping prices low. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries earlier Wednesday cut its forecasts for global oil-demand growth, citing lower consumer appetite in places such as Russia and Brazil despite low prices.