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Futures Movers: Oil ticks higher ahead of OPEC+ meeting that could bring production cuts


Oil futures rose Tuesday, extending gains a day ahead of a meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and their allies, where producers are expected to consider a large production cut.

Price action

West Texas Intermediate crude for November delivery



rose $2.07, or 2.5%, to $85.70 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange after posting a gain of 5.2% on Monday.

December Brent crude


gained $2.29, or 2.5%, to trade at $91.15 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe.

Back on Nymex, November gasoline

rose 5.1% to $2.6401 a gallon, while November heating oil

was up 3.4% at $3.484 a gallon.

November natural gas

gained 2.3% to $6.621 per million British thermal units.

Market drivers

Crude-oil prices were rising for a second day as expectations built for OPEC+ to deliver a cut of more than 1 million barrels a day on Wednesday when it holds its first in-person meeting since the start of the pandemic.

Read: Why an OPEC+ oil production cut could be less than meets the eye

“An empirical approach to the present fundamentals leads us to believe benchmark WTI should be trading in the $75-$80 range, although the current unpredictability within the market brings a warranted volatility premium,” said Harry Altham, energy analyst, EMEA & Asia for StoneX Group, in market commentary. “It therefore stands to reason that OPEC+, while analysing the market ahead of the decision, will see an output cut as being justified within current market conditions.”

Analysts said the prospect of a large output cut has shifted the focus away from fears of global recession toward a tight physical market. A large cut in OPEC+’s production target, however, could result in a more modest reduction in actual output, analysts said, noting that the group was already producing well below its current target.

“There are are only a handful of members who will actually need to reduce output if the group announces a large cut,” said Warren Patterson, head of commodities strategy at ING, in a note.

Read: OPEC+ could cut oil production because it’s trying to halt a sharp crude selloff

Citing figures from Bloomberg, Patterson noted that OPEC supply increased by 230,000 barrels a day in September to average 29.89 million barrels a day, with the rise driven largely by Libya, which is exempt from the output agreement and whose output grew by 120,000 barrels a day. But output from OPEC members that were part of the OPEC+ supply deal saw output average 25.53 million barrels a day last month, well below their target of 26.75 million barrels a day, he noted.

Also see: Why California is paying nearly 70% more for gasoline at the pump than the rest of the country

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