Oil futures rallied by more than 3% late Tuesday morning after international news agency Interfax reported that Saudi Arabia and Russia have reached a consensus to freeze oil production, citing comments from an unidentified person. Oil prices "shot up on this report but really, it should not have been any surprise," said Phil Flynn, senior market analyst at Price Futures Group. But James Williams, energy economist at WTRG Economics, said prices are "moving on headlines more than reality." May WTI crude rose $1.42, or 3.5%, to settle at $41.78 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. A settlement around this level would be the highest of the year.
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