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Oil futures sharply lower, with growing concerns that OPEC will not make an aggressive output cut

Myra P. Saefong

Oil futures traded sharply lower Thursday, as traders continued to await the outcome of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries meeting in Vienna. "Heading into the meeting, investors had been leaning on a 1.3 [million barrel a day] cut that Saudi Arabia had been hinting at," but the Saudis may now "be leaning toward a 1.0 [million barrel per day] cut," said Colin Cieszynski, chief market strategist at SIA Wealth Management. OPEC members and their oil-producer allies appear "to be caught in the middle between U.S. President Trump, who has been loudly calling for lower prices and no production cuts and investors who, through market action, have been clearly telegraphing that they would clearly like to see deeper cuts," Cieszynski said. January West Texas Intermediate oil was down $1.32, or 2.6%, to $51.57 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. February Brent lost $1.24, or 2.1%, to $60.28 on ICE Futures Europe.