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Oil prices climb on uncertainty ahead of OPEC meeting

Oil rises towards $80 as supply concerns mount

 Oil prices rose by more than 1 percent in early Asian trading on Friday, pushed up by uncertainty over whether OPEC would manage to agree a production increase at a meeting in Vienna later in the day, Reuters has said.

Brent crude oil futures LCOc1 were at $74.04 per barrel at 0308 GMT, up 99 cents, or 1.4 percent, from their last close.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were at $66.49 a barrel, up 95 cents, or 1.5 percent.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), a producer cartel de-facto led by top exporter Saudi Arabia, is meeting together with some non-OPEC members including top producer Russia at its headquarters in the Austrian capital to discuss output policy.
The group started withholding supply in 2017 to prop up prices.
Amid strong demand, the market has since tightened significantly, pushing up crude prices and triggering calls by consumers to increase supplies.

Saudi Arabia and Russia are in favor of raising output. Other OPEC-members, including Iran, have opposed this, resulting in a flurry of backdoor diplomacy ahead of the meeting, which starts on Friday.
“The actual decision by OPEC and its partners – which may not actually become apparent until Saturday – is the big one traders are watching,” said Greg McKenna, chief market strategist at futures brokerage AxiTrader.

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