Oil drops 5% on concern over size of OPEC output cut

Oil drops 5% on concern over size of OPEC output cut

Oil prices plunged anew this morning amid a closely watched OPEC gathering in Vienna, where major producers have yet to reach an agreement on anticipated output cuts, according to an official.

WTI crude for January delivery lost 5% to $50.23 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Global benchmark February Brent crude fell 5.2% to $58.36 a barrel.

The selloff extends a rocky stretch for oil markets over the past few weeks. Concerns about rising global crude supply, combined with anxieties about the health of global economic growth - and its implications for oil demand - have sent crude prices sharply down, MarketWatch reported.

OPEC and its partner producers, are gathering in Vienna to debate an output deal. The cartel is under pressure to support prices, which have fallen by more than 30% since reaching multiyear highs in October.

Saudi energy minister Khalid al-Falih said there was no agreement yet on production cuts. He said a cut of 1 million barrels a day would be sufficient to balance the market, but all options were on the table.

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