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Oil prices little changed amid demand concerns

2019-06-12 04:44

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NEW YORK, June 11 (Xinhua) -- Oil prices were little changed on Tuesday as investors weighed weaker demand against possible output-cut deal extension.

Investors have been worried for some time that global economic slowdown would dent crude oil demand.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration cut its 2019 world oil demand growth forecast by 0.2 million barrels per day (bpd) to 1.2 million bpd in its short-term energy outlook released on Tuesday.

The report said the administration is reducing its 2019 Brent crude oil price forecast to 67 U.S. dollars a barrel, which is 3 dollars lower than its May estimate.

"The lower 2019 price forecast largely reflects recent global crude oil price declines as well as the uncertainty about global oil demand growth," the report said.

While dimming demand outlook weighed on oil prices, hopes that world's major oil exporters are close to extending an output cut deal supported the crude prices.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and some non-member oil exporters including Russia have withheld supplies since the beginning of the year in order to balance supply and demand, and support oil prices.

Saudi Arabian Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said on Monday that Russia was the only oil exporter still undecided on whether or not major exporters should extend the output deal, according to media reports.

"We work to prevent such a decline in prices, which could negatively affect the interests of both consumers and producers," Al-Falih said at a joint press conference with Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak on Monday.

Novak said that there are big risks of oil overproduction and the possibility of prices declining.

An assessment of the situation is needed so that oil producers could make a balanced decision at a meeting scheduled for July in Vienna on whether to extend oil cuts to keep prices stable, he added.

The West Texas Intermediate for July delivery added 0.01 U.S. dollar to settle at 53.27 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for August delivery closed flat at 62.29 dollars a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange. Enditem

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