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Int’l Oil Prices at 2-Month High

Int’l Oil Prices at 2-Month HighInt’l Oil Prices at 2-Month High

Oil rose on Monday, putting July on track to become the strongest month this year, as news of a producers' technical meeting next week added to bullish sentiment driven by the threat of US sanctions against OPEC member Venezuela. Brent crude futures traded at $52.56 a barrel, up 4 cents on Friday's close. Prices hit $52.92 a barrel, their highest since May 25. US West Texas Intermediate futures were at $49.72 a barrel after briefly topping $50 per barrel on Monday, CNBC reported.

Oil traders also eyed the bullish impact from a production outage following a fire at Europe's largest refinery and further signs that the US market is tightening after heavy inventory falls and slower new oil rig additions last week.

"The sentiment in the oil market became very bullish after OPEC said it will meet with partners in Abu Dhabi next week to discuss compliance," said Frank Schallenberger, the head of commodity research at LBBW. Some OPEC and non-OPEC members will meet on Aug. 7-8 in Abu Dhabi, the UAE, to assess how the group can increase compliance with production cuts that began on Jan. 1.

Hedge funds and money managers have raised bullish bets on US crude oil to their highest in three months, data showed on Friday. In Europe, a production outage at Shell's 404,000-barrel-per-day Pernis refinery in the Netherlands following a fire sent benchmark European diesel margins, which reflect the profit made from refining crude oil into the road fuel, to their highest since November 2015 at $14.60 per barrel.

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