Crude oil futures heated up to a three-week high at the start of the week on hopes that OPEC countries will soon be able to finalize a deal that would cut oil production and help support prices of the energy futures markets.
The January contract in crude oil futures was up 3.30 percent at $47.90 in Monday mid-morning commodities futures trading, and continues to climb. Energy futures led most of the commodities futures sector in a quiet week winding down with the U.S. Thanksgiving Day holiday on Thursday.
Adding to a boost in crude oil futures prices, Russia President Vladimir Putin said he sees a “high probability” that an agreement to curb oil production will be reached at the Nov. 30 meeting in Vienna. Iraq’s oil minister Jabbar al-Luaibi said late Sunday the country plans to offer three new proposals this week aimed at reinforcing unity within OPEC.
The change in sentiment marks a one-week turnaround for crude oil, as skepticism over OPEC’s ability to come to a deal has tempered. Oil prices have risen in four out of the last five sessions, bouncing off a three-month low.
Analysts have also become more positive on the outlook for a production cut, with two major investment firms raising forecasts for prices of crude oil futures.
Other contracts within the energy sector of commodities futures markets followed crude oil, with the January contract for natural gas futures last trading 3.19 percent higher at 3.075/
Monday’s economic calendar is light on reports of significance to commodities futures markets. Tuesday brings Existing Home Sales for the month of October.
Wednesday’s roster is relatively busy with Weekly Unemployment Claims, October Durable Goods Orders, October New Home Sales, and the October University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment report. Weekly inventory data for Crude Oil and Natural Gas are also released ahead of Thursday’s Thanksgiving Day holiday in the U.S. Minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve’s November 2 meeting will also be released.
On Friday, October Advanced Wholesale Inventories are slated for release on the U.S. economic calendar. Due to the holiday, there’s no U.S. floor trading for metals and energy futures on Comex and the New York Mercantile Exchange on Thanksgiving Day. Futures exchange operator CME Group mandates an early close of 12:45 p.m. CST for energy and metals futures trading markets.