Oil prices were roughly unchanged in early trading on Friday, as markets awaited clarity on OPEC and its allies’ next oil policy moves after conflicting messages made it hard to predict the outcome of the meeting next week.
Brent crude slipped 4 cents to $76.22 a barrel at 0022 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate was up 9 cents, or 0.1%, at $71.92 a barrel.
Benchmarks had settled more than $2 per barrel lower on Thursday, after Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak played down the prospect of further OPEC+ production cuts at its meeting in Vienna on June 4.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that energy prices were approaching “economically justified” levels, also indicating there could be no immediate change to the group’s production policy.
Their remarks contrasted with comments this week from Saudi Arabian Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, the de-facto leader of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), warning short sellers to “watch out”.