Oil prices climb ahead of OPEC+ meeting

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NEW YORK, March 29 (Xinhua) -- Oil prices moved modestly higher on Monday as traders await a key meeting by major oil producers.

The West Texas Intermediate for May delivery added 59 cents to settle at 61.56 U.S. dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude for May delivery increased 41 cents to close at 64.98 dollars a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.

"This week will be dominated by Thursday's meeting of OPEC and its allies (OPEC+), which has been brought forward," Eugen Weinberg, energy analyst at Commerzbank Research, said in a note on Monday.

"Though most observers expect the production quotas to be left in place, discussions about production hikes are also likely to be sparked by the expectations of rising demand, calls by oil customers for increased production, short-term bottlenecks caused by the closure of the Suez Canal, and expectations of higher non-OPEC oil production," he said.

Market participants also eyed updates about the Suez Canal's traffic.

The traffic in Suez Canal resumed after massive container ship Ever Given has been successfully refloated as being stranded in the canal for almost a week, Egypt's Suez Canal Authority said on Monday.

For the week ending Friday, the U.S. crude futures declined about 0.8 percent while Brent eked out a gain of 0.06 percent, based on the front-month contracts. Enditem

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