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Brent oil slides under USD 70

AFP  |  London 

sank Friday to a seven-month low under USD 70 on surging US ahead of a weekend meeting of major producing nations.

In morning deals, contract crude for delivery in January slumped to USD 69.13 per barrel, the lowest level since April.

New York's Intermediate (WTI) for December tanked to USD 59.28 to hit a February low.

The US benchmark had overnight entered a technical bear market, meaning that WTI has now lost 20 percent from its most recent peak last month.

The fresh plunge comes as representatives from OPEC and non-cartel members prepare to meet Sunday in to discuss a possible output cut to protect their revenues amid slumping prices.

Since hitting four-year highs last month, crude prices have slumped on rising production, Chinese economic growth fears, and easing concerns about the impact of sanctions on

Sentiment took another hammering overnight after the revealed soaring crude stockpiles, indicating weaker demand in top the

Washington's decision this week to grant waivers to eight countries including China, and from US on Iran, has helped also to push prices south.

"The recent drop in reflects a combination of factors," told AFP.

"For one, signs of slowing are beginning to appear; the rate of GDP growth in is beginning to ease. Likewise, a spate of relatively weak corporate earnings reports in the US has raised concerns that the trade barriers will be damaging to many US firms."

Birch added: "Slower than expected growth in these two markets would translate into lower oil demand, and therefore prices."

On Monday, US Donald Trump's administration reimposed tough sanctions on Iran's financial institutions, shipping lines, energy sector, and products.

However, worries over from -- which is the second biggest OPEC after kingpin -- have diminished somewhat.

"The US government's decision to grant waivers to some important importers of Iranian oil has reduced fears of a supply crunch from the Middle East," said Birch.

The meeting is aimed at addressing the market slump with a view to protecting the precious revenues of nations.

However, told AFP that the participants would likely refrain from any immediate action.

"I do not expect much from the oil meeting," Madden said.

"The might talk about future production cuts as a way of stabilising the price, but the price needs to strike a balance -- of being cheap enough to keep demand strong and keep (President) Trump happy, but not so low that their drops drastically."

Separately, reported Friday that a government-funded think-tank in was studying the possible impact of breaking up OPEC.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, November 09 2018. 18:25 IST