UPDATE 9-Oil falls to 2-week lows as OPEC+ seen easing supply curbs

Reuters

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    * Brent down about 7% from last week's rally to 13-mth high
    * OPEC+ meets on Thursday to discuss output 
    * OPEC sees positive market outlook, but downside risks
persist 
    * POLL-U.S. oil stockpiles likely fell across the board last
week
    * U.S. crude stocks rise, fuel inventories slump -API

 (Adds API data, price reactions)
    By Scott DiSavino
    NEW YORK, March 2 (Reuters) - Oil prices fell to their
lowest in two weeks on Tuesday on expectations OPEC+ producers
will ease supply curbs at their meeting later this week as
economies start to recover from the coronavirus crisis.
    OPEC Secretary General Mohammad Barkindo said the outlook
for oil demand was looking more positive, particularly in Asia.
 urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL2N2L015D urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL2N2L01AF
    Brent  LCOc1  futures fell 99 cents, or 1.6%, to settle at
$62.70 a barrel, their lowest close since Feb. 12. The global
benchmark has fallen about 7% from a 13-month peak hit last
week.
    U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude  CLc1  fell 89
cents, or 1.5%, to $59.75, its lowest close since Feb. 19. WTI
has dropped about 6% since Feb. 25 when it closed at its highest
since May 2019.
    Prices briefly extended losses after data from the American
Petroleum Institute industry group showed a large increase in
crude stockpiles last week but a much larger-than-expected
decline in refined products inventories helped stem losses.
 API/S   urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL2N2L0304
    The oil rally has faded on expectations the Organization of
the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies in the group known
as OPEC+ would produce more oil from April, easing last year's
deep supply cuts.
    "The oil market has finally reached a stage that hints
recovery, as it is the first time in a year that everyone
expects OPEC+ to justifiably bring more output back to
production mode," said Bjornar Tonhaugen, head of oil markets at
Rystad Energy.
    OPEC+, which meets on Thursday, could discuss allowing as
much as 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd) back into the market.
 urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL8N2KU69X 
    Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) told Asian oil buyers
it plans to increase crude allocations in April, sources close
to the matter told Reuters.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL2N2L008L
    OPEC oil output fell in February as a voluntary cut by Saudi
Arabia added to reductions in a previous OPEC+ pact, a Reuters
survey found, ending a run of seven consecutive monthly
increases.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL5N2KX001 
    OPEC+ member Russia failed to raise oil output in February
despite being granted permission by the group. Industry sources
said harsh winter weather hindered work.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL2N2L00AP
    Traders noted that crack spreads - a measure of refining
profit margins - were rising after U.S. gasoline  RBc1  and
heating futures  HOc1  declined much less than crude oil.
    The U.S. 3-2-1 crack spread  CL321-1=R  and the gasoline
crack spread  RBc1-CLc1  closed at their highest since April
2020.

 (Additional reporting by Devika Krishna Kumar in New York, Noah
Browning in London and Yuka Obayashi in Tokyo; Editing by
Marguerita Choy, David Gregorio and Jonathan Oatis)
 ((scott.disavino@thomsonreuters.com; +1 332 219 1922; Reuters
Messaging: scott.disavino.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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