[HONG KONG] Oil extended its advance above US$44 a barrel after posting the biggest weekly increase since April.
Futures rose as much as 0.6 per cent in New York after climbing 6.4 per cent last week as Saudi Arabia signaled it's prepared to discuss stabilising markets at informal Opec discussions next month.
Venezuela's oil and foreign ministers will visit producer countries to lobby for price increases ahead of the talks, President Nicolas Maduro said. US producers added rigs for a seventh week, the longest run since 2014, according Baker Hughes Inc data on Friday.
Crude has rebounded more than 10 per cent since closing below US$40 a barrel and tumbling into a bear market earlier this month. Saudi Arabia's energy minister Khalid Al-Falihsaid in a statement last week that talks with Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries members and other producers may result in action to stabilise the market, according to media reports.
WTI for September delivery rose as much as 25 US cents to US$44.74 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at US$44.64 at 6:39am in Hong King. Prices advanced US$1 to settle at US$44.49 a barrel on Friday, the highest since July 21. Total volume traded was about 61 per cent below the 100-day average.
Brent for October settlement added as much as 28 US cents, or 0.6 per cent, to US$47.25 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The contract increased 93 US cents, or 2 per cent, to close at US$46.97 a barrel on Friday. The global benchmark crude traded at a US$1.80 premium to WTI for October delivery.