Oil Prices Fall Ahead of OPEC

Oil prices remained under pressure on Thursday despite declining U.S. supplies as investors braced for the outcome of a key meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.

Brent crude for July delivery recently fell 0.7% to $63.36 a barrel on London’s ICE Futures exchange. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate futures for July were trading down 0.6% at $59.28 a barrel.

Investors shrugged off reports Wednesday that commercial stockpiles of U.S. crude oil fell by 1.9 million barrels last week, the fifth-straight weekly decline, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

“Despite [the inventory decline], market sentiment turned bearish on…news of OPEC most likely keeping output unchanged at tomorrow’s meeting, “ said Michael Poulsen, oil analyst at Global Risk management.

As they gathered at a conference in Vienna ahead of their Friday meeting, oil ministers of the OPEC appeared optimistic about their strategy of pumping more crude oil and fighting for market share.

On Thursday, the Saudi oil minister Ali al-Naimi, one of the key OPEC figures, said that crude supply, which has caused a global glut of oil last year, is declining.

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