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Oil Rebounds From Lowest Close in 12 Years as Volatility Surges

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(Bloomberg) — Oil rebounded from the lowest level in more than 12 years amid the most volatile prices since 2009 as speculation swirls over whether producers will act to bolster the market.

Futures rose as much as 5.9 percent in New York, after closing at the lowest since May 2003 in the previous session. The CBOE Crude Oil Volatility Index, which measures expectations of price swings, rose to the highest since 2009 on Thursday. Producers are ready to work together and suppliers won’t make cuts unless there is complete cooperation, United Arab Emirates Oil Minister Suhail Al Mazrouei said in an Arabic-language interview on Sky News Arabia posted online Feb. 10.

“Everyone is reluctant to be the first to cut,” Daniel Hynes, senior commodity strategist at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. in Sydney, said by phone. “The fundamental data we continue to see suggests that prices should stay relatively low, even weaken further, considering we haven’t even seen additional Iranian oil hit the market.”

Crude is down about 25 percent this year on speculation the worldwide surplus will persist amid the outlook for increased exports from Iran after the removal of sanctions. BP Plc Chief Executive Officer Robert Dudley this week said the company was “very bearish” on oil during the first half of 2016, while trader Vitol Group BV sees a decade of low prices.

West Texas Intermediate for March delivery rose as much as $1.55 to $27.76 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at $27.69 at 9:47 a.m. Hong Kong time. The contract slid $1.24 to close at $26.21 Thursday, capping a 19 percent slide over six sessions. Total volume traded was 15 percent above the 100-day average. Prices are down about 10 percent this week.

Brent for April settlement added as much as $1.79, or 6 percent, to $31.85 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. Prices are down 6.8 percent this week. The European benchmark crude traded at a premium of $1.28 to WTI for April.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ben Sharples in Hong Kong at bsharples@bloomberg.net To contact the editors responsible for this story: Ramsey Al-Rikabi at ralrikabi@bloomberg.net Aaron Clark, Pratish Narayanan

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