Oil, energy shares rally, boosting stock markets

Tue Apr 12, 2016 5:00pm EDT
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By Rodrigo Campos

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Brent crude oil prices hit a four-month high and energy equities rose on Tuesday after reports of an agreement between two major producers to freeze output, leading U.S. equities higher.

Crude prices are up more than 10 percent in the last three sessions, lifted on Tuesday after Russia's Interfax news agency quoted a diplomatic source in Doha, Qatar, saying Russia and Saudi Arabia reached consensus about an oil output freeze ahead of a producers' meeting there on April 17.

"The market appears to be taking a lot of support from positive statements. But, this isn't the first time the Russians have come out and made remarks related to a production freeze being imminent," said Gene McGillian, a senior analyst at Tradition Energy.

Brent crude LCOc1 rose 3.3 percent to $44.22 a barrel and U.S. crude CLc1 settled up 4.5 percent at $42.17.

On Wall Street, energy sector shares led the market, and the S&P 500 hit an intraday high shortly after the headlines on the output freeze.

The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI rose 164.84 points, or 0.94 percent, to 17,721.25, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 19.73 points, or 0.97 percent, to 2,061.72 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 38.69 points, or 0.8 percent, to 4,872.09.

The S&P 500 energy sector .SPNY gained 2.8 percent.

The FTSEurofirst index of 300 major European companies .FTEU3 rose 0.6 percent, led by energy names. MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe .MIWD00000PUS added 0.6 percent, its fourth gain in the past five sessions.   Continued...

A man walks through the lobby of the London Stock Exchange in London, Britain August 25, 2015. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett