Trump asks OPEC not to cut production

International Brent crude oil futures were up 40 cents or 0.7 percent at $62.09 per barrel

"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".

"I'm cautiously optimistic that a deal gets done, but the devil will be in the detail", said Mohammad Darwazah, a director at Medley Global Advisers. A delegate from another country said some members believe a smaller reduction would be adequate.

Ardabili says any meaningful cuts in production must be made by the countries which have pumped above their quotas in breach of a 2007 deal between OPEC and non-OPEC oil producers.

In October, the oil price reached a four-year high of $86, but since then the price has dropped again to about $60 per barrel.

The Middle East-dominated Opec plans to cut output despite pressure from US President Donald Trump to support the global economy by keeping oil prices low.

The oil-rich kingdom had indicated previously that it wanted the group to curb output by at least 1.3 million barrels per day.

Riyadh wants Moscow to contribute at least 250,000-300,000 bpd to the cut but Russian Federation insists the amount should be only half of that, Opec and non-Opec sources said.

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"A massive liquidation in long positions by money managers has dampened market confidence on oil prices considerably", said Benjamin Lu of Singaporean brokerage Phillip Futures.

The production surge took place in the run-up to Trump's pledge to sanction Iran's oil sector on November 4 and later decide to give waivers to some customers.

On Thursday, Brent futures fell more than 2% as traders began to doubt Opec would deliver a significant cut.

President Trump's Tweet could be seen as a warning to the cartel to measure any production cuts carefully, but OPEC has always been the target of Trump's tweets, even prior to his presidency, chastising the organization for restricting oil during the near-$100/barrel days.

While ministers met in OPEC's Vienna headquarters, Trump tweeted that the "world does not want to see, or need, higher oil prices!" Trump said on Twitter on Wednesday, Xinhua news agency reported.

Possibly complicating any Opec decision is the crisis around the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October.

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