Sun. Jan 29th, 2023

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Oil steady as Opec+ considers extension to crude curbs

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Oil prices were steady on Monday helped by reports that OPEC and Russia were closer to a deal on extending oil cuts but held back by renewed tension between the United States and China.

Benchmark Brent crude was up 10 cents, or 0.3 per cent, at $37.94 a barrel at 0854 GMT. US crude had dipped 10 cents, or 0.3 per cent, at $35.39 a barrel.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russia, part of a group known as OPEC+, are moving closer to a compromise on the duration for extending oil output cuts and were discussing rolling over the curbs one to two months, two OPEC+ sources told Reuters.

Algeria, which holds the rotating OPEC presidency, has proposed that OPEC+ hold a meeting on June 4 rather than the previously planned June 9-10. Russia has said it has no objection to meeting sooner.

“The fact that crude … prices have not reacted much to the news of the potential cut extension can be seen as a sign that the market has already priced in a lot of optimism,” JBC Energy analysts said in a note.

Tension between China and the United States was also encouraging some caution. Beijing has ordered major state-run firms to pause some purchases of US farm goods, including soybeans, Bloomberg News reported.

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