Page last updated at 21:20 GMT, Wednesday, 9 September 2009 22:20 UK

Oil price up before Opec meeting

Oil worker

Oil prices have risen ahead of an Opec meeting, as a weaker US dollar made the commodity cheaper in other currencies.

Light sweet crude for October delivery rose 59 cents to $71.69 a barrel as the euro set a new high for the year against the dollar at $1.4585.

The rise came as oil ministers from the producers' cartel Opec prepared to meet for a summit in Vienna.

Saudi's oil minister said the country would keep supplies steady and did not expect Opec's supply policy to change.

"Saudi Oil Minister Ali Al-Naimi, upon arrival in Vienna yesterday, has described the oil market as stable and current prices satisfactory," the Saudi-owned Al-Hayat newspaper reported.

London Brent crude rose 67 cents to $70.09.

'Hysteria-driven market'

The meeting is due to begin at 2130 local time (1930 GMT).

An hour after the meeting starts there will be figures out from the American Petroleum Institute showing how much crude oil is stockpiled in the US, with the volumes often having an influence on prices.

Traders will also be keeping an eye on Tropical Storm Fred, which is growing to hurricane force in the eastern Atlantic, but is not currently expected to threaten oil installations.

"This is very much in a dollar-driven, inflation-driven, hysteria-driven market," said Edward Meir, energy analyst at MF Global.

"Opec will likely leave things unchanged and will end the meeting with exhortations to stick to quotas."

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