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Oil Pares Early Gains On Growth Fears

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Oil prices gave up early gains to trade on a flat note Thursday, after having risen sharply in the previous session on fears over lost supplies from Russia.

Benchmark Brent crude futures rose 0.2 percent to $110.37 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were marginally higher at $107.88.

Both benchmarks gained more than $5 a barrel on Wednesday after the European Commission announced several measures including plans to phase out supplies of Russian crude oil within six months and refined products by the end of 2022.

Speaking to FranceInfo radio, France’s ecology minister Barbara Pompili said she is confident that the European Union’s 27 nations will agree to a proposed ban on oil imports from Russia within days.

Markets await a key OPEC + meeting later today, expected to maintain current plans to hike output by 400 thousand bpd throughout June, as per its policy of gradually restoring output that was cut early in the COIVD-19 pandemic.

OPEC Secretary-General Mohammed Barkindo on Wednesday said it is not possible for other producers to replace Russian supply.

Meanwhile, growth worries resurfaced after a survey showed China’s services sector activity contracted at the second-steepest rate on record in April under the effect of pandemic measures.

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