Oil rises on hopes for delay in OPEC+ supply increase

SectorOil & Gas

TOKYO - Oil prices edged higher on Wednesday as hopes that OPEC and its allies will delay a planned rise in oil output offset demand fears stoked by a bigger-than-expected build in U.S. crude stocks and weaker U.S. retail sales.Brent crude futures for January rose 22 cents, or 0.5%, to $43.97 a barrel by 0733 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude for December climbed 6 cents, or 0.1%, to $41.49 a barrel.To tackle weaker energy demand amid a new wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, Saudi Arabia called on fellow members of the OPEC+ grouping - OPEC and other producers including Russia - to be flexible in responding to oil market needs as it builds the case for a tighter production policy in 2021. "Hopes that OPEC+ will keep existing cuts further into 2021, or even increase the cuts, underpinned prices," said Hiroyuki Kikukawa, general manager of research at Nissan Securities.He predicted WTI will stay boxed into a range of $39 to $44 a barrel until a full meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) later this month.OPEC+ held a ministerial committee meeting on Tuesday that made no formal recommendation.

The group will hold a full ministerial...