Oil prices rise in Asia with OPEC meeting in focus
Analysts say OPEC is likely to focus more on maintaining market share against competitors than on slashing production in order to lift prices
Oil prices rose in Asia on Tuesday, three days before an OPEC meeting in which the cartel is expected to maintain high output levels despite a global supply glut.
Analysts say the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is likely to focus more on maintaining market share against competitors than on slashing production in order to lift prices.
US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for delivery in January was up 29 cents to $41.94 and Brent crude for January was trading 18 cents higher at $44.79 a barrel at around 0300 GMT.
“Crude oil remained on the soft side as many expect OPEC to be unwavering about its production target when the group gathers this Friday,” said Bernard Aw, market strategist at IG Markets in Singapore.
Oil prices have been in retreat from levels above $100 a barrel reached in mid-2014, with the decline accelerating after OPEC’s November 2014 meeting signaled the group would keep output high.
The official Purchasing Managers Index (PMI), which tracks activity in the crucial factories and workshops sector, fell to 49.6, the government statistics bureau said. It was the fourth consecutive month of decline and the lowest figure since August 2012.
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