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Oil rises after Saudis deny report of OPEC+ supply increase By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Oil pump jacks are seen at the Vaca Muerta shale oil and gas deposit in the Patagonian province of Neuquen, Argentina, January 21, 2019. REUTERS/Agustin Marcarian

By Laura Sanicola

(Reuters) – Oil prices rose slightly in early Asian trade on Tuesday, a day after Saudi Arabia denied a media report that it was discussing an increase in oil supply with OPEC and its allies.

futures rose 17 cents, or 0.2%, to $87.62 by 0007 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures for January began trading Tuesday, rising 7 cents, or 0.1%, to $80.11 a barrel.

Both benchmarks had plunged by more than $5 a barrel in the previous session after the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported an increase of up to 500,000 barrels per day will be considered at the OPEC+ meeting on Dec. 4.

Prices rebounded quickly in full after Saudi Arabian energy minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said the kingdom is sticking with output cuts and not discussing a potential oil output increase with other OPEC oil producers, state news agency SPA reported, denying the WSJ report.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies (OPEC+) recently cut production targets and the energy minister of de facto leader Saudi Arabia was quoted this month as saying the group will remain cautious on oil production because of uncertainty about the global economy.

The front-month Brent crude futures spread narrowed sharply last week, while WTI flipped into contango, reflecting easing supply concerns.

Rising COVID-19 cases in China capped market gains as the country battles outbreaks nationwide that are nearing April peaks.

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