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Oil Prices Subdued As OPEC Meeting Looms

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Oil prices were flat to slightly lower on Thursday amid uncertainty about OPEC’s decision on production at the Sunday meeting.

Benchmark Brent crude futures were marginally lower at $86.94 a barrel, while WTI crude futures were down 0.3 percent at $80.31.

Crude prices climbed about 3 percent on Wednesday after data showed a steep drop in crude inventories in the U.S. in the week ended November 25th.

Data released by U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed crude inventories in the U.S. dropped by nearly 13 million barrels last week, the biggest weekly decline since the week ended June 21, 2019.

There’s a lot of uncertainty over the outcome of this weekend’s OPEC meeting but losses are being limited by expectations of increased demand from China and a weaker dollar.

Markets initially braced for additional OPEC quota cuts ahead of EU sanctions and due to increasing economic uncertainty fueled by rising interest rates.

However, OPEC and its allies are now expected to hold production steady after the group shifted its meeting online amid an uncertain market outlook.

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