Oil steadies as Putin shows support for extending production cuts

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Oil prices held on to last session’s gains on Friday after Russian President Vladimir Putin said he would be willing to extend production cuts amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Brent crude fell 1 cent to $42.45 per barrel after climbing 1.7% on Thursday. U.S. West Texas Intermediate slid 3 cents to $40.61 per barrel after a 1.5% gain in the last session. Both benchmarks are on course for their first weekly loss in three weeks.

Putin said that Russia did not see a need for a revision in the existing OPEC+ production cuts, but did not rule out the possibility of extending it.

Rising COVID-19 cases in Europe and the United States are likely to cap gains in oil prices as renewed social restrictions impact fuel demand.

Several U.S. states have posted record daily rises in COVID-19 infections, signs that the pandemic is escalating as temperature drops in the country. 

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