Oil prices ease, but price spike threat lingers

Oil prices are beginning to soften a bit as the market's physical fundamentals improve. But any oil price decline is likely to be fairly modest. That's because the underlying price engine of surging demand likely will remain in place, and the overlying threat of oil supply outages due to terrorism or civil strife still will linger.The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will meet in July to discuss whether to carry out the second, 500,000 b/d part of a two-stage production quota increase eventually totaling 2.5 million b/d. No doubt the group's first concern regarding the decision to take that extra step will be a look at the state of crude oil and product stocks. An...

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