OPEC extends oil supply cut to boost prices

The approval of the pact extension on Tuesday follows a decision by OPEC producers the previous day
OPEC extends oil supply cut to boost prices

OPEC and its allies led by Russia, agreed to extend oil output cuts until March 2020 on Tuesday, seeking to prop up the price of crude as the global economy weakens and U.S. production soars.

The alliance, known as OPEC+, has been reducing oil supply since 2017 to prevent prices from sliding amid increasing competition from the United States, which has overtaken Russia and Saudi Arabia to become the world’s top producer.

Benchmark Brent crude LCOc1 has climbed more than 25% so far this year after the U.S. tightened sanctions on OPEC members Venezuela and Iran, causing their oil exports to drop.

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The approval of the pact extension on Tuesday follows a decision by OPEC producers the previous day.

Fears about weaker global demand as a result of a U.S.-China trade spat have added to the challenges faced by the 14-nation Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.

A jump in oil prices might lead to costlier gasoline, a key issue for Trump as he seeks re-election next year.

Brent was trading slightly weaker at just below $65 per barrel. 

The OPEC+ extension comes after Russian President, Vladimir Putin agreed with Saudi Arabia to prolong the pact and continue to cut combined production by 1.2 million barrels per day, or 1.2% of world demand. 

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Oil prices could stall as a slowing global economy squeezes demand and U.S. oil floods the market.

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