Oil prices have given back about half of yesterday's gain
Oil prices have given back about half of yesterday's gain, with the NYMEX benchmark future presently showing a 1.2% loss, at $46.50. Yesterday's high was $47.65. The overriding focus is on tomorrow's Vienna meeting of OPEC nations and whether the group will deliver a credible plan to trim and freeze crude output. The FT reported yesterday that Saudi Arabia offered to trim its production by 4.5%, but this is contingent on both Iran freezing its production at 3.8 M barrels per day, and on the participation of non-cartel producers, including Russia. Assuming a deal is reached, markets will scrutinise it to see if it is credible or merely cosmetic. Many crude market pundits seen potential for at least a 20% swing in prices in either direction in the immediate wake of OPEC's post-meeting announcement.