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Crude oil gains in Asia ahead of Opec meeting

Crude oil posted initial gains in Asia Thursday as focus returns to a planned meeting by producer Cartel OPEC and other leading exporters.

It comes as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) and its allies will meet online to hammer out proposed massive cuts in production to counter a slump in demand caused by coronavirus lockdowns.

Global benchmark Brent oil rose 2.5%, to $33.65 in early Asian trade after gains overnight on hopes for a deal to cut as much as 10m to 15m barrels a day, or 10% to 15% of global output.

An Opec+ (Opec plus other producers led by Russia) meeting in early March failed to agree on oil production cuts, causing a split that sent prices crashing.

Saudi Arabia and Russia then moved to boost production in order to retain market share amid the falling global demand.

Key Opec member Saudi Arabia pushed hard for deep cuts in March, while Russia complained that US shale producers who didn’t curb output would unfairly benefit.

The standoff saw US President Donald Trump seek to broker a deal as the world’s largest producer and a top importer as well.

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