Brent crude settled above $49 a barrel as oil posted its longest winning streak since March.

Brent crude, the global oil marker, settled at $49.23 a barrel, up 1.8 per cent for the day — this was the oil marker’s highest settle since July 4. Brent was up for four straight days for the first time in five months.

Meanwhile, West Texas Intermediate, the US crude marker, settled at $46.58 a barrel, also up 1.8 per cent for the day.

Oil prices have jumped more than 11 per cent since Opec last Monday agreed to an informal meeting next month and as Saudi Arabia and Russia signalled in the days since that they are open to taking coordinated action to help balance the oil market. And that rise has also partly been driven by hedge funds and speculators that have turned more positive on oil, raising their net long positions.

But analysts warn that a rally built on positioning and hopes of an Opec output freeze agreement should be treated with caution. Chris Main at Citi, said:

For now, Citi believes that talks of an accord are hyperbolic, especially with most of the Kingdom’s ministers outside of Riyadh during the holiday season.

The Saudis are fully committed to implementing their Vision 2030 and National Transformation Program 2020 plans, both of which point to the need to maximize sales and to boost the notion that Saudi Aramco is an independent oil company operating free of foreign policy restrictions. That would make it very odd to succumb to the old geopolitics now, when markets are firming by the Saudi’s own statements.

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