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Oil drops below US$50 as concerns emerge over Opec reduction plan

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Oil fell for a third day as doubts emerged over whether Opec's agreement to cut crude output would succeed in reducing supply.

[SYDNEY] Oil fell for a third day as doubts emerged over whether Opec's agreement to cut crude output would succeed in reducing supply.

Futures declined as much as 0.8 per cent in New York after falling 1.2 per cent Wednesday. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries on Sept 28 pledged a new output range of 32.5 million to 33 million barrels a day, but internal differences have emerged over production targets.

The scale of the internal obstacles Opec must resolve was revealed Wednesday as the group's latest output estimates showed a half-million-barrel difference of opinion over how much two key members are pumping.

West Texas Intermediate for November delivery fell as much as 42 US cents to US$49.76 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at US$49.81 at 9:58am in Sydney. Total volume traded was 65 per cent below the 100-day average.

Brent for December settlement dropped 60 US cents, or 1.1 per cent, to US$51.81 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange on Wednesday.

The global benchmark closed at a US$1.17 premium to December WTI.

BLOOMBERG