Oil prices clung near $68 a barrel for a fourth day on Monday in Asia as investors looked to this week’s OPEC meeting for a possible change in the cartel’s production.
Benchmark crude for October delivery was up 12 cents at $68.14 a barrel at midday Singapore time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Echange. The contract Friday rose 6 cents to settle at $68.02.
Trading volume was light in Asia on Monday ahead of the Labour Day holiday in the U.S.
Traders are eyeing Wednesday’s meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in Vienna. OPEC President Jose Botelho de Vasconcelos, who is also Angola’s oil minister, said last week that the 12-member group will likely keep output quotas unchanged.
Crude prices have swung wildly in the past year, reaching $147 a barrel in July 2008 before plunging to $32 a barrel in February. Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s biggest producer, has said $75 is a fair price for consumers and producers.
In other Nyme trading, gasoline for October delivery was steady at $1.77 a gallon, and heating oil held at $1.72 a gallon. Natural gas fell 6.4 cents to $2.66 per 1,000 cubic feet.
In London, Brent crude was up 33 cents at $67.15.