Oil strengthens on likelihood OPEC+ will not increase output

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    SINGAPORE- Oil prices rose for a second straight session on Thursday, as the possibility that OPEC+ producers might decide against increasing output at a key meeting later in the day lent support, alongside a drop in US fuel inventories.

    Brent crude futures added 61 cents, or 1 percent, to $64.68 a barrel after climbing more than 2 percent on Wednesday. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures gained 28 cents, or 0.5 percent to $61.56 a barrel.

    The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies, together called OPEC+, are considering rolling over production cuts into April instead of raising output, as a recovery in oil demand remains fragile due to the coronavirus crisis, three OPEC+ sources told Reuters.

    The market had been expecting OPEC+ to ease production cuts by around 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) from April.

    “OPEC+ is currently meeting to discuss its current supply agreement. This raised the specter of a rollover in supply cuts, which also buoyed the market,” ANZ said in a report
    US crude oil stockpiles surged by a record of more than 21 million barrels last week as refining plunged to an all-time low due to the Texas freeze that knocked out power for millions. – Reuters