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Oil prices drop as Kuwait strike ends

CommoditiesApr 20, 2016 04:36AM ET
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© Reuters. Oil tumbles as Kuwait oil workers end strike - Oil prices fell sharply on Wednesday as a three day strike by Kuwaiti workers ended, with traders anticipating that the country’s production levels will quickly return to normal.

Crude oil for June delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange were down 81 cents, or 1.91%, to trade at $41.62 a barrel by 0825 GMT.

Global benchmark Brent fell 86 cents or 1.95% to $43.18 on the ICE Futures Europe exchange.

The nationwide strike in Kuwait removed 1.3 million barrels a day from the market and helped prop up oil prices after major producers failed to agree on an output freeze at weekend talks in Doha.

The end of the strike saw concerns about a global supply overhang return to the forefront.

Talks between major producers on Sunday ended without an agreement on a production freeze intended to rein in ballooning overproduction that has seen prices sink from levels as high as $115 hit in mid-2014.

The talks collapsed after Saudi Arabia demanded that OPEC member Iran also join the agreement to cap its output.

Iran has said it will not participate in a production freeze until its output levels return to where they were before international sanctions were imposed over its nuclear program.

Oversupply concerns were underlined after data from industry group American Petroleum Institute showed that U.S. crude stocks rose more than expected last week.

Crude inventories rose by 3.1 million barrels in the week to April 15 to 539.5 million, against analysts' expectations for an increase of 1.6 million barrels.

Crude stocks at the Cushing delivery hub fell by 235,000 barrels, API said.

Oil prices drop as Kuwait strike ends

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