The Star Early Edition - - MARKETS -

CRUDE fu­tures slid in the run-up to this week’s Opec meet­ing yes­ter­day as traders weighed prospects for the first cut in pro­duc­tion quo­tas since 2008.

Brent for Jan­uary de­liv­ery lost 1.4 per­cent to $78.54 a bar­rel (R5.42 a litre) on the London-based ICE Fu­tures Europe ex­change in the af­ter­noon. WTI fell 1.7 per­cent to $74.52 at 11.24am in New York.

Prices erased ear­lier gains after a meet­ing be­tween Venezuela, Mex­ico, Saudi Ara­bia and Rus­sia didn’t pro­duce an agree­ment on a co-or­di­nated oil-out­put re­duc­tion, ac­cord­ing to Rafael Ramirez, Venezuela’s For­eign Min­is­ter. Igor Sechin, who runs Rus­sian state oil pro­ducer Ros­neft, said a drop in prices be­low $60 a bar­rel wouldn’t force Rus­sia to curb out­put.

“Traders are split down the mid­dle on whether Opec is go­ing to make a mean­ing­ful cut,” Tariq Zahir at Ty­che Cap­i­tal Ad­vi­sors in New York said. “Any kind of rally is prob­a­bly go­ing to be sold into. You have to get an above 2 mil­lion-bar­rel cut from Opec to sta­bilise the mar­ket.” – Bloomberg

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