Oil Up as OPEC Considers Rollover Rather than Hiking Output

Oil prices rose on Wednesday, boosted by expectations that OPEC producers might decide against increasing output when they meet this week, while signs of progress in the coronavirus vaccine rollout in the United States gave further support.

Brent oil rose 80 cents, or 1.3, to 63.50 a barrel by 0942 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate WTI crude rose 73 cents, or 1.2, to 60.48 a barrel.

The fundamentals of the oil market suggest further strength as oil demand grows with the recovery and leisure and travel activity is likely to bounce, said Norbert Rücker, analyst at Swiss bank Julius Baer.

We see oil prices pushing temporarily above 70 by midyear, he added.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Russia and their allies, a group known as OPEC, are considering rolling over production cuts from March into April rather than raising output, three OPEC sources told Reuters.

The group meets on Thursday.

Kuwaiti Oil Minister Mohammad alFares said the oil market was being supported by optimism about vaccinations.

U.S. President Joe Biden said the United States would have enough COVID19 vaccines for every American adult by the end of May, after Merck Co agreed to make rival Johnson Johnsons inoculation.

Biden said he hoped that the United States would be back to normal at this time next year and potentially sooner.

The American Petroleum Institute API industry group reported U.S. crude stocks rose by 7.4 million barrels in the week to Feb. 26, in stark…

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