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Oil Weakens, Focus on OPEC+ Response to US–Led Crude Release

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MELBOURNE/SINGAPORE—Oil prices edged down on Thursday with investors waiting to see how major producers respond to the emergency crude release by major consuming countries designed to cool the market, even as data pointed to healthy U.S. fuel demand. Brent crude futures slipped 7 cents to $82.18 a barrel at 0726 GMT, after losing 6 cents on Wednesday. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell 19 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $78.20 a barrel, extending an 11-cent loss on Wednesday. “The release of oil from strategic reserves ramps up competition for control of the oil market amongst the world’s biggest producers,” ANZ analysts said in a note. “We don’t expect OPEC will stand by idly as the market enters a critical period.” All eyes are now on the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Russia and allies, together called OPEC+, who are due to meet next week to discuss oil …

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