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U.S. Oil Prices Jump on Thursday

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Oil prices rose more than 4 percent on Thursday on comments from the Saudi oil minister about possible action to stabilize prices and as the International Energy Agency forecast crude markets would tighten in the second half of 2016. Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said OPEC members and non-members would discuss the market situation, including any action that may be required to stabilize prices, during an informal meeting on Sept. 26-28 in Algeria.

The comments by the minister of the world’s top oil exporter triggered fund buying and some algorithmic trades, giving a boost to prices, traders and brokers said. However, most traders remain skeptical of the outcome, expecting a repeat of the Doha meeting in April when talks fell through after Saudi Arabia backed out, citing Iran’s refusal to join in a so-called production freeze.

The IEA, which advises large developed economies on energy policy, forecast a healthy draw in global oil stocks in the next few months that would help ease a glut that has persisted since 2014 on the back of rising OPEC and non-OPEC supply.