MTECHTIPS;-Oil starts the week lower as markets focus on output

MTECHTIPS;-Oil starts the week lower as markets focus on output cut prospects

MTECHTIPS- Oil prices kicked off the week with modest losses on Monday, as market players continued to look for signs that major oil producers are adhering to planned output cuts. Crude oil for February delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange dipped 12 cents, or around 0.25%, to $52.25 a barrel by 10:15 AM ET (15:15 GMT). Elsewhere, Brent oil for March delivery on the ICE Futures Exchange in London shed 10 cents, or 0.2%, to $55.36 a barrel. Trading is likely to be quiet because U.S. markets are closed for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. January 1 marked the official start of the deal agreed by OPEC and non-OPEC member countries such as Russia in November last year to reduce output by almost 1.8 million barrels per day. The deal, if carried out as planned, should reduce global supply by about 2%. However, some traders remain skeptical that the planned cuts will be as substantial as the market currently expects. While some major oil producers, such as Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, have so far showed signs that they are sticking to their pledge to cut back output, others, such as Libya have ram ped up production

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