Investing.com - Oil futures are trading higher during Friday's Asian session on reports the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries could hold an emergency meeting to address the recent plunge in global oil prices.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light, sweet crude futures for June delivery rose 0.36% to USD88.31 per barrel in Asian trading Friday after up 1.45% at USD88.23 a barrel on Thursday in the U.S.
Oil showed resilience Thursday, perhaps due to some bottom-fishing, amid some mixed U.S. economic data. In U.S. economic news, initial claims for jobless benefits rose to 352,000 last week from a revised 348,000 in the prior week. Economists expected the number to come in at 355,000. The less volatile four-week moving average rose slightly to 361,250.
The Philadelphia Federal Reserve said manufacturing activity in the region softened a bit this month with the business conditions index falling to 1.3 from 2 last month. Economists expected a rise to 4 this month. The new orders index slumped to -1 from 0.5 in March. The U.S. is the world's largest oil consumer.
On Thursday, Venezuelan Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez told members of the media OPEC could hold a special meeting to discuss the rapid price decline in oil prices. The 12-member cartel is not scheduled to meet again until May in Vienna.
Venezuela is one of the OPEC members that favors high oil prices and could be concerned that prices have fallen below that country's preferred level of USD100 per barrel. Venezuela is Latin America's largest oil producer and is believed by some to be home to the world's largest reserves. OPEC accounts for 40% of global oil output.
Elsewhere, Brent futures for June delivery fell 0.26% to USD99.38 per barrel on the ICE Futures Exchange.
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