Oil settles above $50 as Iran calls for non-OPEC support
By Barani Krishnan
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil rose more than 1 percent on Monday, with Brent settling above $50 a barrel the first time since August and U.S. crude hitting three-month highs, after Iran exhorted the need for other oil producers to join OPEC in supporting the market.
The dollar's retreat from session highs also enticed more buyers into oil as greenback-denominated crude became less costly to holders of other currencies. [FRX/]
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani told his Venezuelan counterpart Nicolás Maduro in a telephone conversation that it was essential for oil producing countries to take a decision to raise the price of oil and stabilize the market, Tehran state news agency IRNA reported.
Rouhani's remarks added to the bullish fervor in the market since Wednesday after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries announced its first planned output cut in eight years. [nL8N1C42M9]
Brent settled up 70 cents, or 1.4 percent, at $50.89 a barrel. It was its first close above the key $50 mark since Aug. 19. Brent earlier reached a session peak of $51.14.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude closed up 57 cents, or 1.2 percent, at $48.81. Prior to settlement, it hit $49.02, its highest since July 5.
Iran's call to non-OPEC members helped the market to rally "because there are many who want to believe this deal will get done," said Phil Flynn, analyst at the Price Futures Group brokerage in Chicago.
"There's already a soft commitment from Russia that it will be part of the OPEC plan and if more non-OPEC members get on board, prices can only go higher," Flynn added. Continued...