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TSX dips with oil ahead of OPEC meeting

22 June 2018

Saudi Arabia is reportedly looking to increase production by 1 million barrels per day, while Russian Federation has said it would like to see an extra 1.5 million barrels per day to the market before reassessing the next move.

Stocks around the world fell on Thursday and the US dollar slipped from a peak as investors flocked to bonds after weak economic data and on worries about a U.S.

"Today's EIA report appeared unequivocally bullish to WTI given a much larger than expected crude stock draw of nearly six million barrels that was more than double our anticipated increase", Jim Ritterbusch, president of Ritterbusch and Associates in Galena, Illinois, said in a note. Patrick DeHaan, an analyst for GasBuddy, a gasoline price tracking service, said a middling OPEC increase - more than 600,000 barrels per day - would make it less likely that Americans will pay an average of $3.

Oil prices fell 2% after the Saudi minister spoke, before recovering slightly.

OPEC energy ministers expressed optimism Thursday they were nearing a compromise on oil output policy, with Saudi Arabia acknowledging that a big production hike would be "politically unacceptable" to archfoe Iran.

There are other considerations than dollars and rubles.

"We need to release supply to the market", Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said, according to Reuters.

"Iran rejected a potential compromise, saying it won't support even a small increase in oil production".

OPEC takes its decisions by unanimity, so if Iran were to wield its veto Saudi Arabia would be left only with the option of assembling a coalition of willing countries to bypass Tehran's opposition.

If the Saudi position prevails, it would allow OPEC and its allies to partially offset the impact of the collapse in Venezuela's oil industry and feed fast-growing demand - two factors that played a big part in Brent crude's surge to above $80 last month. Trump has used Twitter to complain about high oil prices - and blame OPEC - twice since April. OPEC, he said, "is not an organization to receive the instruction from President Trump and follow it".

UAE Energy Minister Suhail Mohammed al-Mazrouei added: "I am very optimistic". And that poses its own risks. "A host of geopolitical events around the world could really stoke prices higher". The paper agreement would see production increase by 1 million barrels a day to bring the group back to target. And he thinks prices will rise anyway. "These prices are creating stress throughout global economy, as it is giving pain to us in India", he said.

TSX dips with oil ahead of OPEC meeting