Crude oil prices showed a strong move to the upside on Thursday as OPEC and allied oil-producing countries meet under the spikey shadow of a new Covid-19 threat.
Benchmark Brent crude futures surged 2.5 percent to $70.60 a barrel in European trade, while WTI crude futures were up 2.4 percent at $67.14 a barrel.
Officials from OPEC countries, led by Saudi Arabia, and their allies, led by Russia, will meet online today and decide whether to pause a planned oil output hike in January, amid increasing uncertainly about the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on global crude demand.
A pause in production increases could provide oil prices with some relief after a drop of more than 20 percent in just over a month.
The support also comes from the fact that there has been a decline in U.S. inventories in the week ended November 26th.
The Energy Information Administration released a report showing crude oil inventories dipped by 0.9 million barrels last week.
Meanwhile, White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Wednesday that she knew of no plans to slow releases from strategic reserves, despite the advent of the variant.