Oil futures prices moved higher for the second consecutive session Monday amid a growing conviction among traders that OPEC will agree on a method to cut production at its meeting in Geneva.
In other markets, precious metals advanced sharply with platinum up the limit allowed for daily trading. Grains and soybeans were mostly higher, and coffee futures retreated.
"Most traders appear convinced that OPEC will reach some kind of an agreement, either an extension of the old one or a new one," said Ed Dellamonte, an analyst with Prudential-Bache Securities. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries has met for two weeks in an attempt to replace a temporary pact expiring at the end of this month that limits oil production by member nations.
Kuwait and Saudi Arabia have said they want larger quotas under a new pact, not a merely extension of the old one, and this has contributed an uncertainty about the outcome of the meeting.
Toward the end of the trading day, "news came that King Faud of Saudi Arabia is going to meet with the other Gulf states for some sort of arm twisting," Dellamonte said.