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New Delhi: Crude oil prices fell in early trade on Wednesday ahead of the meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) and its allies, scheduled to start later in the day.

Opec and its allies are due to set their production policy for September onwards through a virtual meeting on Wednesday.

The October contract of Brent on the Intercontinental Exchange was currently at $100.04 per barrel, lower by 0.50% from its previous close.

The September contract of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) on the NYMEX fell 0.41% to $94.03 a barrel.

Investors were also tracking the visit of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan which may increase tensions between the US and China adding to the geopolitical concerns.

“OPEC is not expected to raise output significantly due to constrained capacity and weakening demand outlook. However, market players want to see if US President managed to convince Saudi Arabia to boost output or not," said Ravindra Rao, head of Commodity Research at Kotak Securities.

“The US EIA inventory report is expected to note a decline in US crude oil and gasoline stocks. However, API report noted an unexpected rise in crude stocks and a smaller decline in gasoline stocks. Crude may remain directionless ahead of inventory and OPEC decision however growth concerns and shaky risk sentiment may keep pressure on prices," he said.

According to the API report released on Tuesday crude oil inventories in the US increased by 2.2 million barrels.

“We expect crude oil prices to remain volatile in today’s session ahead of the OPEC+ meeting’s outcome and the US EIA weekly inventory reports," said Rahul Kalantri, vice president for commodities at Mehta Equities.

On Tuesday, US Federal Reserve officials indicated that the central bank would continue to tighten monetary policy to tame inflation. This move in turn may impact demand and raise growth concerns further weighing on oil prices.

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