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Oil prices slump to 2018 lows on emerging supply glut.

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Oil prices slumped to 2018 lows on Friday in thin but volatile trading, pulled down by concerns of an emerging global supply overhang amid a bleak economic outlook.

Even an expectation that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) producer group will start withholding supply in 2019 to rein in any glut provided little support, traders said.

International benchmark Brent crude oil futures hit their lowest since December 2017 at $61.52 per barrel, before recovering to $62.10 by 0430 GMT. That was still 50 cents, or 0.8 percent below their last close.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures slumped by more than 2 percent, to $53.35 a barrel, after coming within 5 cents of an October 2017 low reached earlier in the week.

Amid the plunge, Brent and WTI price volatility has surged in November to approach levels not seen since the the market slump of 2014-2016 and, before that, the financial crisis of 2008-2009.

The divergence between US and international crude comes as surging North American supply is clogging the system and depressing prices there, while global markets are somewhat tighter - in part because of reduced exports from Iran due to newly imposed US sanctions.

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Title Annotation:Business News
Publication:Manila Bulletin
Date:Nov 23, 2018
Words:206
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