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Oil holds steady with Wall St as the U.S. votes

by November 8, 2016 General

By Scott DiSavino | NEW YORK

NEW YORK Oil prices were little changed on Tuesday, paring earlier gains in line with U.S. stock markets as voters head to the polls to elect the next president of the United States.

In a swell of investor risk appetite, U.S. stocks racked up their biggest one-day gain since March on Monday, but this boost, which lifted oil, copper and European equities earlier on Tuesday faded. [.N]

The most recent polls have put Democrat Hillary Clinton ahead of Republican rival Donald Trump in Tuesday’s election. Clinton is seen by investors as offering greater certainty and stability.

Brent futures edged up 8 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $46.07 a barrel at 11:27 a.m. EST (1627 GMT). U.S. crude rose a penny to $44.90 per barrel.

“We expect markets to take a pause today across the financial spectrum as election results are awaited,” Jim Ritterbusch, president of Chicago-based energy advisory Ritterbusch & Associates, said in a note.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries forecast demand for its oil will rise in the next three years, suggesting its 2014 decision to let prices fall to curb costlier rival supplies is delivering higher market share. [OPEC/M]

The group meets on Nov. 30 and has pledged to reach a deal on cutting output to try to erode a two-year-old global surplus.

But a series of member states asking to be exempt from any deal, along with questions over the likelihood of non-OPEC rival Russia joining in, have created doubt over OPEC’s ability to deliver a meaningful cut.

Mohammed Barkindo, secretary-general of OPEC, warned on Tuesday that failure to implement the agreement reached in Algiers in September to cut output would bring negative consequences to an already fragile oil industry.

“The fact that Barkindo feels a need to make such public statements suggests the membership remains divided on at least the details of an agreement,” Citi Futures energy futures specialist Tim Evans said in a note.

The American Petroleum Institute (API) will release its data on U.S. oil inventories for the week ended Nov. 4 at 4:30 p.m. EST on Tuesday. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) will release its weekly petroleum status report at 10:30 a.m. EST on Wednesday.

Analysts said they expect crude stocks to rise 1.1 million barrels, according to a Reuters poll. [EIA/S]

(Additional reporting by Amanda Cooper in London and Henning Gloystein in Singapore; Editing by Marguerita Choy and Dale Hudson)

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