OPEC holds an informal meeting this week in Algiers, which non-OPEC Rusian will also join. It's likely to to be one of the key marketing moving events this week as Laura Frykberg reports.
It's a rumour that's given rise to hope. Saudi Arabia is said to have offered to reduce its oil output. If Iran does the same. Cutting production is top of the agenda when OPEC leaders meet this week. Previous attempts at agreement have failed though. And some are staring at the bottom of the barrel. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BGC PARTNERS MARKET STRATEGIST, MIKE INGRAM, SAYING: "It's very clear that OPEC is no longer a functioning cartel. I think the meeting in Vienna in December made that very clear. You've got any number of parties who at the very least want to hold production where it is, there are many parties who want to increase production." Europe's so-called powerhouse is also in the spotlight. Weaker manufacturing and exports have seen the economy slow recently. Consumer data out this week may reveal whether they can shoulder the burden. SOUNDBITE (English) IHS GLOBAL INSIGHT, DIRECTOR OF SOVEREIGN RISK, JAN RANDOLPH, SAYING: "The notoriously frugal German spenders, high savers, have decided that, well, with low unemployment, job security or apparent job security and getting nothing out of the banks in terms of interest, now is the time to spend on big-ticket items, and they seem to be doing so." Across the Atlantic, PMI figures out on Tuesday are likely to paint a mixed picture. Analysts say there may be some strength in the housing market, but overall growth could edge lower. Perhaps a reflection of why the Fed has so far kept rates unchanged.