Oil prices rise ahead of OPEC + meeting

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Oil futures rose on Tuesday as investors waited for a meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, as concerns persisted about an increase in COVID-19 cases in India. West Texas Intermediate crude for June delivery CL00, + 0.66% CLM21, + 0.66% rose 44 cents, or 0.7%, to $ 62.35 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. June Brent BRN00 crude, + 0.69% BRNM21, + 0.58%, the global benchmark index rose 38 cents, or 0.6%, to $ 66.03 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe.

This week’s attention is focused on Wednesday’s OPEC + meeting, in which officials will decide whether to stick to a timetable that would allow producers to ease production cuts starting next month. “It remains to be seen whether this increase may prove premature as the situation is deteriorating at the moment in major oil-importing countries such as India, Japan and Turkey,” Commerzbank commodities analyst Eugen Weinberg said in a note. Libya’s oil production, which recently fell as much as 300,000 barrels a day, is also likely to recover quickly, he noted. An increase in COVID-19 cases in India, the world’s third-largest oil importer, has fueled concerns about energy demand. India recorded more than 320,000 new cases and 2,771 deaths on Tuesday, according to the New York Times. It was its sixth day in a row with more than 300,000 cases and countries around the world have started sending aid in the form of oxygen supplies, equipment and tests. Concerns about the increase in the COVID case in India and Japan have fueled expectations that OPEC + could delay the easing of production cuts and helped lift crude on Monday, analysts said.