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Oil prices rebound from early dive as reports vary on OPEC+ output

Oil prices rebound from early dive as reports vary on OPEC+ output

Oil retraced most losses after Saudi Arabian energy minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said the kingdom is not discussing a potential oil output increase with other OPEC oil producers, state news agency SPA reported

An increase of up to 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) will be discussed at the OPEC+ meeting on Dec. 4, The Wall Street Journal reported An increase of up to 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) will be discussed at the OPEC+ meeting on Dec. 4, The Wall Street Journal reported

Oil prices whipsawed on Monday, diving early to their lowest since early January but then rebounding as reports varied about whether Saudi Arabia and other OPEC oil producers are considering a half-million barrel daily output increase.

Brent crude futures for January ell 77 cents, or 0.9%, to $86.85 a barrel by 12:54 p.m. EST (1754 GMT) . U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures for December were down 58 cents, or 0.7%, at $79.50 ahead of the contract's expiry later on Monday.

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

Oil retraced most losses after Saudi Arabian energy minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said the kingdom is not discussing a potential oil output increase with other OPEC oil producers, state news agency SPA reported, denying the Journal report.

"It turned the whole situation upside down in a matter of minutes," said John Kilduff, partner at Again Capital LLC in New York. "The Saudis giveth and then they taketh away."

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies, together known as OPEC+, recently cut production targets and de facto leader Saudi Arabia's energy minister was quoted this month as saying the group will remain cautious.

Releasing more oil amid weak Chinese fuel demand and U.S. dollar strength would have moved the market deeper into contango, encouraging more oil to go into storage and pushing prices still lower, said Bob Yawger, director of energy futures at Mizuho in New York. "That's playing with fire."

Expectations of further increases to interest rates have buoyed the greenback, making dollar-denominated commodities like crude more expensive for investors.