Oil and gas tanks are seen at an oil warehouse at a port in Zhuhai, China October 22, 2018. REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo

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  • OPEC+ sticks to planned output hikes despite rising oil prices
  • Falling U.S. crude and distillate inventories -EIA
  • US moves troops to Eastern Europe to protect NATO

NEW YORK, Feb 2 (Reuters) – Oil prices fell on Wednesday even after OPEC+ stuck to planned moderate increases in output despite pressure from major consumers to increase output faster after prices reached the heights of 2014.

Brent crude fell 7 cents to $89.09 a barrel at 12:15 p.m. EST (1715 GMT) while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude fell 25 cents, or 0.3%, to 87.95 $.

Global benchmark Brent has remained at a striking distance of $90 for several days now, supported by lingering concerns over tight supply from major global producers and ever-increasing demand. Both benchmarks hit their highest level since October 2014 on Friday, with Brent hitting $91.70 and U.S. crude $88.84.

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The market was unable to push higher, leading analysts to believe that sellers rushed to take profits at these levels despite bullish fundamentals.

“There’s a lot of resistance near $90, so we’ve seen some profit taking,” said Phil Flynn, an analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago. “I think we see the market pull back because it got a little too high too fast.”

U.S. crude inventories fell 1 million barrels last week against expectations of a rise, while distillate inventories also fell amid strong demand in both domestic and offshore markets. export.

The market also shrugged off OPEC+’s agreement to stick to moderate increases in its oil output, with the group already struggling to meet existing targets and wary of answering calls on its stretched capacity. for more crude from major consumers to limit the price spike. Read more

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies including Russia – known as OPEC+ – have stuck to previously agreed plans to increase production by 400,000 barrels a day.

The group blamed the price spike on the failure of consumer countries to ensure adequate investment in fossil fuels as they shift to greener energy.

Several OPEC+ sources also said prices had been pushed higher by US-Russian tensions that raised fears of a disruption in Europe’s energy supply. Washington has accused Moscow of wanting to invade Ukraine, which Russia, the world’s second largest oil producer, denies.

The United States said on Wednesday it would send nearly 3,000 troops to Poland and Romania in the coming days to bolster NATO’s Eastern European allies as the alliance continues to engage in diplomatic efforts with Russian President Vladimir Putin to defuse the crisis. Read more

A major winter storm is expected to hit much of the central United States and spread into parts of the northeast this week, bringing heavy snow, freezing rain and ice, the National Weather reported Monday. Service.

The storm comes days after a deadly winter outburst and could push oil prices higher, especially as some areas displace natural gas where supply may be scarce. Read more

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Reporting by David Gaffen; Additional reporting by Julia Payne and Noah Browning; Editing by Marguerita Choy and Will Dunham

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