Oil prices were steady on Monday helped by reports that OPEC and Russia were closer to a deal on extending oil cuts but held back by renewed tension between the United States and China.
Benchmark Brent crude was up 10 cents, or 0.3 per cent, at $37.94 a barrel at 0854 GMT. US crude had dipped 10 cents, or 0.3 per cent, at $35.39 a barrel.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russia, part of a group known as OPEC+, are moving closer to a compromise on the duration for extending oil output cuts and were discussing rolling over the curbs one to two months, two OPEC+ sources told Reuters.
Algeria, which holds the rotating OPEC presidency, has proposed that OPEC+ hold a meeting on June 4 rather than the previously planned June 9-10. Russia has said it has no objection to meeting sooner.
“The fact that crude … prices have not reacted much to the news of the potential cut extension can be seen as a sign that the market has already priced in a lot of optimism,” JBC Energy analysts said in a note.