Oil gains after big U.S. drawdown, eyes on OPEC committee meeting
By Jane Chung and Dmitry Zhdannikov SEOUL/LONDON (Reuters) - Oil prices rose on Wednesday after a sharp drop in U.S. crude inventories, with the market waiting for OPEC and its allies to decide on the easing of output curbs later in the day as the global economy slowly recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.
By Jane Chung and Dmitry Zhdannikov
SEOUL/LONDON (Reuters) - Oil prices rose on Wednesday after a sharp drop in U.S. crude inventories, with the market waiting for OPEC and its allies to decide on the easing of output curbs later in the day as the global economy slowly recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Brent crude futures were up 35 cents, or 0.8%, at $43.25 a barrel as of 1015 GMT, and U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose 38 cents, or 0.1%, to $40.67 a barrel.
U.S. crude inventories fell by 8.3 million barrels in the week to July 10, beating analysts' expectations for a decline of 2.1 million barrels, according to data from industry group the American Petroleum Institute.
Official numbers from the U.S. Department of Energy are due later on Wednesday.
A key ministerial committee of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies will also meet on Wednesday after 1200 GMT.
OPEC and allies including Russia, collectively known as OPEC+, are set to decide whether to extend output cuts of 9.7 million barrels per day (bpd) that end in July or ease them to 7.7 million bpd.
"Most indications suggest that it will be the latter, with more focus on compliance and compensatory cuts," ING Economics said in a note.
The real production increase from August could be less than 2 million bpd given Iraq, Nigeria and Angola promised to over-comply to make up for high output in May-June.
On Tuesday, OPEC said it saw demand recovering by 7 million bpd in 2021 after falling by 9 million this year.
Oil prices have recovered to almost $43 a barrel from a 21-year low below $16 in April. The recovery in prices has allowed some U.S. producers to resume suspended production, a move that is set to weigh on OPEC's decision on Wednesday.
(Additional reporting by Jane Chung; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.