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Oil markets today, weighed down by rising US crude production and inventories, but prices were prevented from falling by expectations that OPEC will extend an ongoing production cut during a meeting at the end of this month.
Brent crude futures
Both crude benchmarks have lost almost 5 per cent in value since hitting 2015 highs last week.
US crude inventories rose
That compared to analyst expectations in a Reuters poll for a decrease of 2.2 million barrels.
Despite this, analysts said prices were relatively well supported, largely due to efforts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to withhold oil production in order to tighten the market and prop up prices.
The deal is due to expire in March 2018, but OPEC will meet on November 30 to discuss policy, and it is expected to agree with an extension of the cuts.
"OPEC, led by Saudi ... will look to support the market, especially until the sale of Aramco is complete. If sanctions against Iran are executed, it will drive the price significantly higher," said Shane Chanel, equities and derivatives adviser at ASR Wealth Advisers in Sydney.