Oil near 66 ahead of OPEC Meeting, India Weighs

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Oil rebounded to 66 a barrel on Tuesday ahead of a meeting of producer group OPEC to discuss oil output policy amid concern Indias coronavirus crisis could dent a recovery in fuel demand.

OPEC and allies will hold a monitoring meeting on Tuesday instead of April 28 as planned earlier. A technical meeting on Monday had voiced concern about surging COVID19 cases, although it kept its 2021 oil demand forecast unchanged.

Brent crude was up 32 cents, or 0.5, at 65.97 a barrel by 0915 GMT, after dropping 0.7 on Monday. U.S. oil gained 55 cents, or 0.9, to 62.46.

Traders do not want to miss out on a potential bullish OPEC meeting so a limited optimism is reflected in prices, said Bjornar Tonhaugen of Rystad Energy. Should OPEC turn a blind eye to India though, the gains may quickly evaporate.

The group known as OPEC is set to slightly ease oil output cuts from May 1, as demand further recovers from the coronavirus crisis. The easing plan was agreed before the surge in Indian cases.

India, the worlds thirdlargest crude importer, over the past 24 hours recorded 323,144 new cases, slightly below a worldwide peak of 352,991 reached on Monday. The number of deaths neared 200,000.

Others expect OPEC to stick to its easing policy.

We still expect that the group will announce no changes to its plan, ING Economics analysts said in a note.

Record OPEC supply cuts put in place last year have helped drive a recovery in oil prices from historic lows. About a year ago, U.S. crude…

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