Oil rises as OPEC+ seen sticking to policy despite India COVID surge
By Devika Krishna Kumar NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil prices edged higher on Tuesday as OPEC+ was expected to stick to existing plans to boost oil output slightly from May 1, suggesting it does not see a lasting impact on demand from India's coronavirus crisis. The group has also ditched plans to hold a full ministerial meeting on Wednesday, sources said. A technical meeting on Monday had voiced concern about surging COVID-19 cases but kept its oil demand forecast unchanged.
By Devika Krishna Kumar
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil prices edged higher on Tuesday as OPEC+ was expected to stick to existing plans to boost oil output slightly from May 1, suggesting it does not see a lasting impact on demand from India's coronavirus crisis.
The group has also ditched plans to hold a full ministerial meeting on Wednesday, sources said. A technical meeting on Monday had voiced concern about surging COVID-19 cases but kept its oil demand forecast unchanged.
Brent crude was up 24 cents, or 0.4%, at $65.89 a barrel by 12:32 p.m. ET (1632 GMT) after climbing to a session high of $66.45. U.S. oil gained 45 cents, or 0.7%, to $62.36.
"Traders do not want to miss out on a potential bullish OPEC+ meeting so a limited optimism is reflected in prices," said Bjornar Tonhaugen of Rystad Energy.
The producer group known as OPEC+ is set to slightly ease oil output cuts from May 1, under a plan agreed before the coronavirus surge in India.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said on Tuesday the situation on the oil market was "positive and oil demand was recovering", although the rapid spread of the coronavirus in India and Latin America was a concern.
India, the world's third-largest crude importer, has recorded a daily rise of more than 300,000 cases for several days. It has also reported a total of almost 200,000 deaths.
"The possibility that increasing OPEC+ production could be intersecting with weakening Asian oil demand suggests a possible end to the reduction in the global oil supply surplus that has been supporting the complex during the past year," said Jim Ritterbusch, president of Ritterbusch and Associates.
Record OPEC+ supply cuts last year helped to drive a recovery in prices from historic lows. Most of the curbs are still in place, even after the plan to raise output slightly from May.
"With only a modest production increase outside of OPEC+, and OPEC+ pursuing a cautious approach, we expect the oil market to be undersupplied by 1.5 million barrels per day this year and forecast Brent will reach $75 a barrel in the second half of this year," UBS GWM analyst Giovanni Staunovo said.
In another development that could eventually add supply to the market, talks in Vienna aimed at reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear accord were set to resume on Tuesday.
Also in focus this week will be the latest U.S. oil inventory reports, which analysts expect will show a rise in crude stocks. The first report, from the American Petroleum Institute, is due at 2030 GMT on Tuesday. [EIA/S]
(Additional reporting by ALex Lawler, Aaron Sheldrick; Editing by Jason Neely, Edmund Blair, Louise Heavens, David Clarke, David Gregorio and Barbara Lewis)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Rockets hit near U.S. forces and contractors in Iraq on Wednesday, including an air base north of Baghdad and a military base at Baghdad International Airport, the Iraqi army and security officials said. The army reported at least three rockets hit Balad air base, where U.S
By Silvia Ognibene and Silvia Aloisi FLORENCE, Italy (Reuters) -Italian police have arrested a Chinese couple accused of running a leather goods business which exploited immigrant workers it employed to make handbags for a Burberry supplier, according to an arrest warrant seen by Reuters. Tax police in Florence said in a statement that the two Chinese nationals were arrested on Wednesday as part of an investigation into alleged labour exploitation and tax fraud and that restrictive measures had been imposed on two other family members, including a ban on them leaving Italy
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States on Wednesday blacklisted four Nicaraguans, including a daughter of President Daniel Ortega, as Washington warned it would continue to use diplomatic and economic tools against members of the leftist government engaged in repression. The U.S. State Department called on Ortega to release detained presidential candidates as well as other civil society and opposition leaders arrested over the past week in what Washington called "an increasing wave of repression." "There are costs for those who are complicit in the regime's repression.