Brent crude was on course to settle at its highest level since the start of the pandemic, after OPEC and its allies stuck with their plan to only gradually release more barrels into a strengthening oil market.

The international oil benchmark rose almost 3% to $71.34 a barrel on June 1 as OPEC+ producers led by Saudi Arabia and Russia said that while demand is recovering, there are still persistent uncertainties linked to the pandemic that stop them increasing output further.

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