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EghtesadOnline: Oil prices hit and then recoiled from highs last seen in October 2018 on Monday, as investors eyed the outcome of this week's OPEC+ as the United States and Iran wrangle over the revival of a nuclear deal, delaying a surge in Iranian oil exports.

Brent crude for August had slipped 16 cents, or 0.2%, to $76.02 a barrel while US West Texas Intermediate crude for August was at $73.93 a barrel, down 12 cents, or 0.2%, CNBC reported.

Oil prices rose for a fifth week last week as fuel demand rebounded on strong economic growth and increased travel during summer in the northern hemisphere, while global crude supplies stayed snug as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and their allies maintained production cuts.

The producer group, known as OPEC+, is returning 2.1 million barrels per day to the market from May through July as part of a plan to gradually unwind last year's record oil output curbs. OPEC+ meets on July 1 and could further ease supply cuts in August, as oil prices rise on demand recovery.

"Demand recovery has caught everyone by surprise and OPEC needs to respond," Howie Lee, economist at Singapore's OCBC bank, said.

"There is some leeway for easing supply curbs given how high prices are, and we might see a 250,000 bpd increase from August."

ANZ and ING expect OPEC+ to increase output by about 500,000 bpd in August, which is likely to support higher prices.

"Anything less than this amount would likely be enough to see bulls push the market higher in the near term," ING analysts said in a note.

 

Iran oil OPEC+