Oil prices rise in thin Asian trade after break
Oil prices rose in early Asian trading on Monday after a three-day break, but volumes were thin as a number of markets remain on holiday for Easter, Reuters reported.
US crude's front-month contract was up 29 cents at $39.75 a barrel at 03:07 GMT.
On Thursday, it settled down 33 cents at $39.46 a barrel, recovering from a session low of $38.33. For the week, it rose 2 cents, finishing up for a sixth straight week.
Brent's front-month climbed 28 cents to $40.72 a barrel.
It fell 3 cents to $40.44 a barrel, after an earlier drop to $39.22, on Thursday. For the week, it fell 76 cents, or nearly 2 percent, its first decline in five weeks.
Oil prices have risen about 50 percent from multi-year lows hit in January on glut worries.
Declining US oil output and strong gasoline demand were responsible for some of that recovery, but the bulk of it was powered by major producers' plans to freeze output at January's highs.
Producers are due to meet on April 17 to discuss the plan.
"The market is going to be held in suspense for a few weeks," said Victor Shum, senior oil and gas analyst at IHS in Singapore.
"There is going to be pressure on the participants in the meeting to ensure they achieve something. Otherwise they risk the support-market sentiment that we are seeing now dissipate rapidly," he said.
Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) member Iraq's oil exports have held steady so far in March, according to loading data and industry sources, halting for now the rapid supply growth from the country.
Baghdad has given verbal support to the initiative by OPEC and outside producers to freeze output to try to boost prices.