Oil heads for weekly gain on speculation OPEC may cut production

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West Texas Intermediate and Brent headed for their first weekly increase this month as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries considered cutting output next year.

Futures were little changed in New York, poised for a 0.8% increase this week. OPEC, the group that supplies about 40% of the world’s oil, may reduce its daily production target by 500,000 barrels to 29.5 million in 2015, its secretary general said in Vienna on Sept. 16. Libya halted the Sharara field, the country’s largest, following a rocket attack at the connected Zawiya refinery, threatening almost 30% of the OPEC member’s output.

“The market appears to have formed a bit of a base,” Ric Spooner, a chief strategist at CMC Markets in Sydney, said by phone. “We may also be getting close to a level where the market is a little nervous about taking more risk premium out of oil prices.”

WTI for October delivery was at $93.03 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, down 4 cents at 11:24 a.m. Sydney time. The contract slid $1.35 to $93.07 yesterday, the lowest close since Sept. 15. The volume of all futures traded was about 59 percent below the 100-day average. Prices dropped 3.9% the first two weeks of this month.

Brent for November settlement was down 4 cents at $97.66 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. Prices are 0.6 percent higher over the past five days, after dropping 5.9% over the previous two weeks. The European benchmark crude was at a premium of $5.70 to WTI for the same month, compared with $5.72 yesterday.

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