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Brent crude and West Texas Intermediate slumped today with Crude heading for the biggest annual decline since 2008 fuelled by a weakening global demand and a supply glut. Brent Crude fell 49% this year as the U.S. expanded output with its shale drillers and OPEC, responsible for 40% of the world's oil production, decided to maintain its output quota at 30 million barrels a day at a Nov. 27 meeting in Vienna in a fight for market share. According to Qatar's Energy Minister Mohammed Al Sada global markets are oversupplied by 2 million barrels a day.
Today prices came under further pressure as a survey showed China's factory sector shrank for the first time in seven months in December. China is the world second-largest consumer of oil.
Market participants are looking ahead to data on U.S. Crude oil Inventories later in the day at 15:30 GMT.
Brent Crude slumped -2.66%, currently trading at USD56.36 a barrel. West Texas Intermediate lost -1.64% currently quoted at USD53.23.
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