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Oil Prices Dip ahead of OPEC Meeting

LONDON, Aug 3 (Reuters) – Major developed and emerging market central banks around the globe delivered nearly 1,200 basis points in interest rate hikes in July alone, ramping up their fight against multi-decade high inflation with Canada surprising markets with an outsized move.

Central banks overseeing five of the 10 most heavily traded currencies delivered 325 basis points of rate hikes between them last month. This brings the total volume of rate hikes since the start of the year across G10 central banks to 1,100 basis points.

The premium for front-month Brent futures over barrels loading in six months’ time is at a three-month low, indicating worries about current tight supply are abating.

Ministers for members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies including Russia, together known as OPEC+, meet on Wednesday from 1130 GMT.

OPEC+ sources told Reuters last week that the group would likely keep output unchanged in September, or raise it slightly.

Saudi Arabia may be reluctant to beef up output at the expense of OPEC+ partner Russia, hit by sanctions due to the Ukraine conflict.

“Even if the OPEC+ group did declare a small increase, the gesture would be largely symbolic given that very few members have the capacity to materially increase production,” said PVM analyst Stephen Brennock.

“Either way, OPEC will be wary of rocking the boat given the current volatile and turbulent state of the oil market.”

Ahead of the meeting, OPEC+ trimmed its forecast for an oil market surplus this year by 200,000 barrels per day (bpd), to 800,000 bpd, three delegates told Reuters. 

Meanwhile, data from the American Petroleum Institute, an industry group, showed U.S. crude stocks rose by about 2.2 million barrels for the week ended July 29.Gasoline inventories fell by 200,000 barrels and distillate stocks by about 350,000 barrels.

Official data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) is due at 1430 GMT.

Additional reporting by Sonali Paul and Emily Chow; Editing by Louise Heavens

Source: Reuters