Oil Prices Inch Higher in Volatile Trade as OPEC Meeting Kicks Off – Investing

” Crude futures inched higher in early deals on Thursday, but prices were likely to stay volatile with energy markets focused on the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries highly-anticipated meeting.

Oil ministers from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and other major producing countries will meet in Vienna Thursday morning to decide whether to extend their current production agreement beyond a March 2018 deadline.

Most market analysts expect the oil cartel to extend output cuts for a further nine months until the end of 2018, but the terms were so far unclear, as Russia has sent mixed signals about whether it will back the move.

In November last year, OPEC and 11 other non-OPEC producers, led by Russia, agreed to cut output by about 1.8 million barrels per day between January 1 and June 30. The agreement was extended in May of this year for a period of nine months until March 2018 in a bid to reduce global oil inventories and support oil prices. ”