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Oil rises on signs Opec not prepared to boost output

Oil rises on signs Opec not prepared to boost output

Oil prices firmed on signs that Opec would not be prepared to raise output to address shrinking supplies from Iran and as Saudi Arabia signalled it was in no rush to bring prices down.

Brent crude futures were up 98 cents a barrel to $79.03 a barrel at 1039 GMT, after hitting a high of $79.37.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was up 83 cents at $69.74 per barrel, after rising over $1 to $69.95.

Ministers from Opec and non-Opec producers meet on Sunday to discuss compliance with output policies. Opec sources have told Reuters no immediate action was planned and producers would discuss how to share a previously agreed output increase.

Bloomberg reported on Tuesday, citing unnamed Saudi sources, the kingdom was currently comfortable with prices above $80 per barrel, at least for the short-term.

The news agency reported that while the kingdom had no desire to push prices higher than $80 a barrel, it may no longer be possible to avoid it because of tightening supplies amid US sanctions against Iran.

Opec and industry sources have previously told Reuters the kingdom was keen to keep the lid on prices at $80 per barrel until US congressional elections to avoid coming under any additional pressure from US President Donald Trump.