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Oil rises as Saudi Arabia says it's optimistic about common position on output

Crude prices rose on Friday after losses of more than 3 percent a day earlier, with investors treading cautiously ahead of key U.S. employment data that will help gauge the health of the world's largest economy and oil consumer.

Brent crude had climbed 27 cents to $45.72 a barrel by 0426 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were up 24 cents at $43.40 a barrel, buoyed by a weaker dollar. Though rising in this session, Brent and WTI are on track for their biggest weekly losses since mid-January, hit by oil inventory builds and weak U.S. manufacturing data.

On Friday, Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said that he was optimistic about producers moving to a common position on oil production.

"We are beginning to have a meeting of the minds but it is a work in progress and we'll see what happens in the meeting in Algeria. And I'm hopefully optimistic," he told reporters.

Members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries are due to meet informally in Algeria on the sidelines of the International Energy Forum on Sept. 26-28, and are expected to seek to revive a global output freeze deal.


A gas flame is seen in the desert near the Khurais oilfield, near Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Ali Jarekji | Reuters
A gas flame is seen in the desert near the Khurais oilfield, near Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin said a possible oil output freeze deal could involve some compromise on Iran's production levels, Bloomberg news agency quoted him as saying in an interview on Friday.

"Iran is starting from a very low position, connected with the well-known sanctions in relation to this country," Putin said. "It would be unfair to leave it on this sanctioned level."