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Oil prices ease in cautious trading ahead of OPEC meeting
Published at 06/12/2018 at 01:12

By Henning Gloystein

SINGAPORE, Dec 6 (Reuters) - Oil prices dipped on Thursday in tepid trading ahead of a meeting by producer group OPEC that is expected to result in a supply cut aimed at draining a glut that has pulled down crude prices by 30 percent since October.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $52.57 per barrel at 0109 GMT, down 32 cents, or 0.6 percent, from their last close.

International Brent crude oil futures were down 17 cents, or 0.3 percent, at $61.39 per barrel.

Since early October, crude oil has lost around 30 percent of its value amid surging supply and fears that an economic downturn will erode fuel demand.

The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is meeting at its headquarters in Vienna, Austria, on Thursday to decide its production policy.

Led by Saudi Arabia, OPEC's crude oil production

has risen by 4.1 percent since mid-2018, to 33.31 million barrels per day (bpd).

Russia, a major oil producer but not a member of OPEC, will meet with the producer cartel on Friday to discuss production levels, and it is widely expected that a supply cut will be agreed.

"Markets...believe the production cut deal will be in range of 1-1.3 million bpd," ANZ bank said on Thursday.

(Reporting by Henning Gloystein Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)

((henning.gloystein@thomsonreuters.com; +65 6870 3263))