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Oil prices rise ahead of next week’s OPEC meeting

Brent crude was up 0.4% to trade at US$49.10 per barrel in London as the market looks ahead to OPEC meeting.
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Deutsche Bank says it is likely that OPEC will agree a freeze

Crude oil prices picked up again, with Brent heading back above US$49 on the eve on a pivotal meeting of OPEC members next week.

Brent crude was up 0.4% to trade at US$49.10 per barrel in London, while West Texas Intermediary futures moved up slightly to around US$48.30.

It is marks the highest level this month.

Deutsche Bank says it is likely that OPEC will agree a freeze, which would see cartel output between 32.5 to 33 mln barrels per day, though it also reckons it likely that compliance will both be difficult to achieve and also doubted by the market.

“Hence our revised forecast production rate of 33.4 mmb/d in 2017, versus actual output of 33.8 mmb/d in October, seems reasonable in the event a deal is concluded as we expect next Wednesday,” said analyst Michael Hsueh.

Looking at an alternate upside case, the analyst added: “Going beyond our base case, a plausible and more constructive outcome would be the commitment to the 32.5 mmb/d production level and avoiding any mention of a 33.0 mmb/d level.”

“Secondly a more comprehensive agreement would spell out the obligations of the other 11 countries in response to eventual production upside from the 3 exempt countries (Iran, Libya, Nigeria).”

Deutsche’s  bearish case meanwhile sees a dissolution or postponement of a deal.

“Ordinary Meetings are typically conducted on a semiannual basis, so in the event of a failure to conclude an agreement next week, we would expect another meeting to be scheduled within several months, before the next Ordinary Meeting,” Hseuh added.

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