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Oil prices drop by $66 as Russia touts easing OPEC+ output

Atta Ur Rehman KhanWeb Editor & Columnist

23rd Dec, 2019. 09:30 pm
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US Oil prices

LONDON: Oil was little changed on Monday, holding near a three-month high on optimism over a nearing U.S.-China trade deal even as Russia said an Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC-led pact may consider easing output cuts next year, BOL News learnt.

Brent crude LCOc1 was down 2 cents, or 0.03%, at $66.12 per barrel by 1410 GMT in thin trading ahead of the Christmas holiday. West Texas Intermediate CLc1 was down 5 cents, or 0.08%, at $60.39 a barrel.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other top producing nations led by Russia agreed this month to extend and deepen output cuts in the first quarter of 2020.

However, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Monday that the group known as OPEC+ may consider easing the output restrictions at their meeting in March.

Oil prices have risen since the United States and China agreed a so-called phase one trade deal earlier this month following months of tit-for-tat negotiations that unsettled markets.

Under a deal due to be signed in January, the United States is expected to agree to reduce some tariffs in return for a big increase in purchases U.S. agricultural products by Chinese importers.

“Oil prices will continue to benefit from the positive developments in U.S.-China trade,” said Stephen Innes, chief Asia market strategist at AxiTrader.

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