Demand worries, oil reduction ambiguity drag oil prices

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SINGAPORE- Oil fell flat on Friday as crude demand concerns brought by the fast-paced coronavirus contagion were intensified by ambiguity over non-OPEC oil manufacturers still not reaching an agreement for oil cuts to aid prices.

Brent crude LCOc1 erased 47 cents, equivalent to 0.9%, and was last quoted at $49.52 a barrel at exactly 0223 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) CLc1 lost 42 cents, equivalent to 0.9%, and last stood at $45.48 per barrel.

On Thursday, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) implemented the initially agreed reduction of 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd) and planned to keep it until the last quarter of 2020. The implementation came ahead of an OPEC+ convention scheduled on Friday.

OPEC ministers are expecting non-OPEC members to also implement a reduction of 500,000 bpd. However, Russia and Kazakhstan, both associates of OPEC, are yet to agree on the said scheme. Such endangered the unity that supported crude prices since 2016.

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