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Last update: Sat, 03 Dec 2016 03am

Fuel and Energy: World

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Oil prices surged 4 percent on Thursday, with Brent crude at its highest in about 16 months, extending gains after OPEC and Russia agreed to restrict output to reduce the global supply glut more quickly. The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed on Wednesday to its first oil output reduction since 2008 after the group's leading producer Saudi Arabia accepted "a big hit" and dropped a demand that arch-rival Iran also slash output.
Australian shares rallied on Thursday, powered by financials, miners and energy stocks, after oil cartel Opec agreed to cut crude output to clear a glut. The S&P/ASX 200 index snapped three sessions of losses to jump 59.73 points, or 1.1 percent, to 5,500.2 by the close of trade.
Russian President Vladmir Putin played a crucial role in helping Opec rivals Iran and Saudi Arabia set aside differences to forge the cartel's first deal with non-Opec Russia in 15 years. Interventions ahead of Wednesday's Opec meeting came at key moments from Putin, Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani, Opec and non-Opec sources said.
Opec agreed on Wednesday its first oil output cuts since 2008 after Saudi Arabia accepted "a big hit" on its production and dropped its demand on arch-rival Iran to slash output. Non-Opec Russia will also join output reductions for the first time in 15 years to help the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries prop up oil prices. Brent crude jumped over 9 percent to more than $50 a barrel as Riyadh reached a compromise with Iran and after fast-growing producer Iraq also agreed to curtail its booming output.
Oil soared more than 10 percent on Wednesday to over $50 a barrel and its highest in a month as some of the world''s largest producers agreed to curb production for the first time since 2008 in a bid to support prices. US West Texas Intermediate crude futures for January delivery settled up $4.21 to $49.44 a barrel, a 9.6 percent gain. They earlier rose 10 percent, the largest one-day move since February.
The EU on Wednesday unveiled "clean energy" plans to boost renewables, cut waste and reduce subsidies for coal power in a bid to meet commitments under the Paris climate deal. Binding energy efficiency targets would also be raised by 30 percent by 2030 under the sweeping package of measures from the European Commission, the European Union's executive arm.
US natural gas futures climbed over 2 percent on Tuesday after the front-month rolled to the higher-priced January contract despite forecasts for steady, near-normal temperatures over the next two weeks. On its first day as the front-month, January futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange gained 8.3 cents, or 2.6 percent, to settle at $3.315 per million British thermal units.