Oil tumbles below $50 first time in year on Russian Federation output stance

The key question is how quickly and by how much,” said one source familiar with the talks between Russian oil firms and the ministry

Oil tumbles below $50 first time in year on Russian Federation output stance

The biggest snag in Opec's push for a consensus on cutting oil output could come from relentless growth in supply from its second-biggest producer.

Futures fell as much as 3.5 percent in NY on Friday. Although today's early sell-off contributed to the largest one-month decline in crude oil since the financial crisis of 2008, the intraday technical reversal is the first sign in weeks that the buying may be greater-than-the-selling at current price levels. That appeared to contradict another Russian official who on Thursday indicated a willingness to join Saudi Arabia in supply cuts.

A steady rise in crude supply from the United States, now the world's top producer, has pressured prices along with Saudi Arabia's insistence that it will not cut output on its own to stabilise the market. They are looking for a further output cut, but admit that they can't act alone. "This morning's comments seemed to negate that".

Brent crude futures fell 64 cents on the day to $58.12 a barrel, off an earlier session high of $59.51, while USA crude futures dropped below $50 for the first time in over a year. Trump has backed Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman despite calls from many US politicians to impose stiff sanctions on Riyadh.

Worldwide benchmark Brent crude gained 6 cents, or 0.1 percent, to $58.82 a barrel, having dropped 2.4 percent on Wednesday to $58.76 a barrel. The global benchmark traded at an US$8.19 premium to WTI. The more-active February contract lost 1.3%.

Russian and Saudi officials are scheduled to meet in Moscow over the weekend, signaling that an agreement on production cuts is possible if talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman go well in Argentina, according to people briefed on the discussions.

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“Russia, the de facto leader of the non-OPEC coalition, continues to show hesitancy around direct measures to support the price of crude, ” said Robbie Fraser, global commodity analyst at Schneider Electric, in a note.

"I'm surprised and yet not surprised about the move lower this morning", PVM Oil Associates analyst Tamas Varga said.

Futures tumbled as much as 1.8% in NY, after sliding 2.6% in the previous two sessions.

"Over the last week, we had bilateral consultations with Iraq, Libya, Russia, all that will lead us to reach a consensus".

The market now expects that a cut of 1 million barrels per day would be possible from OPEC and its allies, said John Kilduff, partner at Again Capital in NY.

The oil price "fell and then rose again but in my opinion, a level around $60 is quite acceptable, we are completely satisfied", he told an investment forum.

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