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Brent oil are set for a November gain of around 27%

Crude-oil futures on Friday were trading mixed ahead of an important OPEC meeting, after settling on Wednesday at the highest level since early March.

U.S. financial markets were closed Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday and will close early, at 1 p.m. Eastern Time, on Friday.

West Texas Intermediate crude for January delivery CL.1, -0.77%  was down 36 cents, or 0.8%, at $45.34 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, after a 1.8% gain on Wednesday.

January Brent crude, the global benchmark, however, climbed 43 cents, or 1%, to trade at $45.37 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe, following a 1.6% gain for grade oil in the previous session.

On Wednesday, both benchmarks finished at the highest since March 5 and both are on pace for sharp weekly and month-to-date gains. WTI and Brent oil were on track for a weekly rise of around 7%, and the pair are also pacing a roughly 27% climb in November, FactSet data show.

Mark DeCambre

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, including Russia, a group known as OPEC+, are leaning toward delaying next year’s planned increase in oil output, according to a Reuters report. However, tensions among OPEC members and allies about an extension of current supply curbs have resulted in the scheduling of a two-day virtual gathering starting Nov. 30.

Oil has benefited from growing hope that vaccines for COVID-19 will help to improve demand trends in the economy that had been weakening due to the impact of the pandemic on business activity. .

However some cautious strategists say that oil my face headwinds after its brisk run-up and as concerns grow about the experimental vaccines that have emerged.

U.S. officials recently have raised doubts about the efficacy of a vaccine candidate jointly created by AstraZeneca AZN, -1.81% and Oxford University. Chief of the White House’s Operation “Warp Speed,” Moncef Slaoui, and others in the U.S. have expressed concern aspects of the late-stage study.

“Vaccine setbacks are not good news for the market and a price decline would be more direct should the OPEC+ meeting be further ahead in time,” wrote Rystad Energy’s head of oil markets, Bjornar

Mark DeCambre

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