Oil prices settle lower after widely expected OPEC+ decision to extend output cuts By Investing.com

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Investing.com — Crude prices settled lower Monday, as widely expected decision from OPEC+ to extend its current pace of production cuts until the second quarter offered little support amid ongoing concerns tepid demand.

At 14:30 ET, or (19:30 GMT), the  for May fell 1.5% to settle at $78.74 per barrel, while expiring in May had fell 0.8% to $82.86 a barrel.

OPEC+ extends production cuts until Q2, but demand concerns continue

Russia and Saudi Arabia, who lead the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, or OPEC+, committed to maintaining their current run of 2.2 million barrels per day supply cuts until the end of June. 

The boost to oil price, however, were limited, as “market expectations for a rollover had grown more apparent recently,” Macquarie said, and “may have been increasingly priced in.”

But expectations of tighter supplies have been countered by an jump in non-OPEC production, led by the U.S. and ongoing worries about the waning demand as top oil importer China struggles with an economic recovery.

Gaza ceasefire hopes in fresh setback ahead of Ramadan

Hopes for ceasefire in the Gaza war before the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which begins around Mar. 10, suffered a setback after Israel reportedly boycotted the ceasefire talks after Hamas failed to provide a list of hostages that were still alive.   

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris on Sunday urged that Hamas immediately accept a six-week ceasefire deal to bring an end extended truce to the war in Gaza. 

The Israel-Hamas war, which has caused wider disruptions in the Middle East, has been a key point of support for oil prices, especially on expectations that crude supplies from the oil-rich region will be disrupted by a wider conflict. 

Attacks on vessels in the Red Sea by the Yemeni Houthis, in solidarity with Palestine, had furthered this notion, with the Houthis sinking a vessel for the first time ever last week. 

(Scott Kanowsky, Ambar Warrick contributed to this report.)

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