OPEC Touts Additional Measures to Support Oil Prices Amid Modest Rebound

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"In the short term, it doesn't seem oil prices would drop further because WTI has broken the $50 resistance level and US President Trump would not want to see WTI falling further to support US shale industry", Kim Kwang-rae of Seoul-based Samsung Futures said.

"What's happening in the stock market is raising fears that the economy is grinding to a halt and thereby will basically kill any future oil demand", Reuters quoted Price Futures Group's Phil Flynn as saying.

Oil prices have collapsed 40 per cent from a four-year high in early October. Brent crude is at its lowest level since August 17, 2017. The boom in shale output has made the United States the world's largest oil producer, overtaking Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation.

The price plunge has caused USA shale oil producers to curtail drilling plans for next year.

"We are optimistic that the current fall in prices will stop because there is no more oversupply in the market", said Thamir Ghadhban at a meeting of the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries in Kuwait.

The latest tumble left crude prices down 44% since reaching a four-year peak in October - including a 19% falloff since OPEC and Russian Federation announced major output cuts earlier this month.

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The macroeconomic picture and its impact on oil demand continue to pressure prices.

Crude has lost pricing power as investors worry about the strength of the global economy heading into 2019. Total volume traded Monday was about 30 percent below the 100-day average.

"I can not say that I have any remarks on the agreement because we have exported gas to Kuwait in the 80s", the minister said.

The Emirati minister said a joint OPEC/non-OPEC monitoring committee would meet in Baku at the end of February or the beginning of March, as producers aim to return the oil market to the balance reached in the summer of 2018.

Adding to concerns about oversupply, the number of active US rigs for drilling oil rose by 10 in the week ended December 21 to 883, according to a report by General Electric Co's Baker Hughes energy services firm.

Officials from Iraq, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates agreed with Saudi Arabia's expectation that the group, along with Russian Federation and other oil producers, will extend the agreement for another six months.

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