LONDON: Oil futures rose on Wednesday with OPEC deciding to maintain its oil output target and as traders looked ahead to US energy inventory data. Brent North Sea crude for delivery in July rose 45 cents to stand at $109.97 a barrel. US main contract West Texas Intermediate for July gained 16 cents to $104.51 a barrel. The OPEC, which pumps out about one third of the world’s oil, agreed to maintain its oil production ceiling at 30 million barrels per day, as widely expected by markets.

Asked following a meeting in Vienna whether OPEC ministers had decided to leave the output target unchanged, Venezuelan Energy Minister Rafael Ramirez told reporters: “Yes, I confirm.” OPEC’s member nations had said they were comfortable with current price levels at more than $100 a barrel, with Saudi oil minister Ali al-Naimi describing the market as “stable and balanced”.–AFP

Later on Wednesday, the US Department of Energy provides commercial inventory data for last week that should provide fresh clues regarding the level of crude demand in the United States.