Crude futures rose more than 1 percent on Monday as speculators took bullish bets on the odd likelihood of a surprise outcome at this week’s OPEC meeting and as refined oil products rallied.
Few traders and investors expect any material change to OPEC’s production policy when the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries convenes in Vienna on Friday. Still, some were hedging for the possibility of a surprise.
“We’re seeing a bit of buying interest, with prices set to be pushed and prodded around by pre-OPEC meeting rhetoric,” said Matt Smith, director of commodities research at Clipper Data, a New York-based consultancy on energy markets data.
U.S. gasoline and ultralow sulfur diesel (ULSD) futures rallied as the front-month contracts in both headed for expiry.
ULSD, also known as heating oil, jumped 2 percent as colder weather enveloped the U.S. Northeast, the world’s largest market for the heating fuel.