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Oil prices surge on fresh hopes for a production freeze

Crude-oil prices were on a positive course Wednesday, driven by hopes that key global producers may agree to a production freeze later this month despite an escalating tussle between Iran and Saudi Arabia over the issue.

Prices rose after Kuwait, a heavyweight in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, expressed confidence that players within and outside the bloc will move ahead with the proposal to limit crude output.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light, sweet crude futures for delivery in May CLK6, +2.70% traded at $36.86 a barrel, up 97 cents, or 2.7% in the Globex electronic session. June Brent crude LCOM6, +2.30% on London’s ICE Futures exchange rose 75 cents, or 2%, to $38.62 a barrel.

Oil prices have been...