Oil prices retreated slightly on Thursday’s trading, as investors will carefully watch a meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), which may signal more productions cuts to counter the threat of coronavirus on global demand.
As of 07:35 GMT, Brent crude reached $51.47 per barrel, where the highest level recorded during the session was at $52.02 a barrel, while the lowest level was at $51.51.
West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures traded at $47.00 per barrel, to extend the losses recorded over the last two sessions, yet it is still set for a weekly gain.
OPEC and its non-member allies yesterday recommended a further one million barrels per day (bpd) cut in oil production.
The reduction is set to be in addition to a 2.1 million barrel per day reduction in OPEC+'s current production cuts, which include 1.7 million barrels per day in addition to voluntary cuts by Saudi Arabia.
OPEC members are scheduled to meet in Vienna later today and tomorrow.
Moreover, US oil inventories rose for a sixth straight week, below analysts' expectations, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
The EIA report showed that U.S. crude inventories rose by 0.8 million barrels in the week ended February 28, to 444.1 million barrels, while U.S. oil production climbed to a new record high of 13.100 million barrels per day.
Regarding Coronavirus developments, China reported a rise in infections by the end of Wednesday, registering 139 new cases, while the number of deaths has risen to more than 3,000.
Outside china, the number of deaths in the United States rose to 11, with 130 infections, while Greece announced its 10th case of infection.
Meanwhile, the dollar index, which measures the performance of six major
currencies against the US dollar, rose 0.09 percent at 97.39.