Oil prices steady as Saudi sees OPEC on common prodn

US crude futures were unchanged at $44.70 after falling $1.65.

The Dollar Business Bureau

Oil prices have steadied on Thursday after Saudi Arabia was confident that OPEC was moving towards a common decision on oil production. US crude futures were unchanged at $44.70 a barrel after a steep fall $1.65 in the previous session.

Oil had dipped low, extending losses in Asia on Wednesday on the back of a strong dollar while Iran's oil minister made a statement that his country planned to boost output ramped up oversupply worries.

According to Bijan Zangeneh, an informal meeting of Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) during September may not close a deal that would hike the oil prices.

He said that Iran requires raising its production capacity to recapture the market share. The country had lost its market share while its was under global sanctions that have since been lifted in January 2016.

Iran struggled hard to enhance its production at more than four million barrels a day as the international sanctions have been removed. At present, it is producing 3.8 million barrels a day, as per a report.

Canadian-based foreign exchange company OANDA Senior Market Analyst Jeffrey Halley said that a stronger dollar would add woes to the oil prices. Growing scepticism about OPEC's ability to bring in output cuts should continue through the Asia session on Wednesday.

A stronger currency makes crude oil costlier for the countries of weaker currencies. The dollar has been improving from Friday when Federal Reserve Chief Janet Yellen had indicated a hike in US interest rates during this year.

Oil traders are currently waiting for the release of US jobs figures next Friday. This will provide a better picture of the US economy. It could also impact the Federal Reserve's decision to hike the interest rates.

The Dollar Business Bureau - Sep 01, 2016 12:00 IST