Oil prices rallied to their highest levels in three weeks today as a weaker dollar and hopes that Opec will seal an output deal next Wednesday boosted the market.
Global benchmark Brent crude was edging closer to $50, trading up 4.7 per cent, or $2.20, to $49.06 yesterday evening. US sweet crude was up 4.6 per cent, or $2.11, to $47.80.
Brent crude has risen 11 per cent in a week since Saudi Arabia stepped up a diplomatic charm offensive to secure a production cap of 32.5m to 33m barrels per day when the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) meets in Vienna on 30 November.
Russia, which is not an Opec member, has said there is a good chance of an agreement on an output cut at the meeting.
The organisation has been attempting to lure in non-Opec producers to stem the global oil glut, which has wiped out prices and put pressure on oil companies' margins around the world.
Opec provisionally agreed to freeze production at a September meeting in Algiers, Algeria, though it has yet to be finalised.