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Oil ends higher after rocky session

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Oil prices eked out gains Tuesday after a rocky session that saw prices test one-month lows amid warnings from the International Monetary Fund over slow world growth.

[NEW YORK] Oil prices eked out gains Tuesday after a rocky session that saw prices test one-month lows amid warnings from the International Monetary Fund over slow world growth.

London-traded Brent North Sea crude for delivery in June finished up 18 cents at US$37.87 a barrel.

US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for delivery in May added 19 cents to US$35.89 a barrel in New York trade.

Brent fell as low as US$37.27 and WTI went to US$35.24 a barrel in early trade amid low expectations for output talks in Doha on April 17 between Russia and Opec producers seeking to strengthen prices.

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IMF managing director Christine Lagarde painted a glum picture for the global economy in a speech in Frankfurt, saying growth is still "too slow" and "too fragile" and strongly urging advanced economies to step up fiscal stimulus efforts.

"Overall, the global outlook has weakened further over the last six months - exacerbated by China's relative slowdown, lower commodity prices, and the prospect of financial tightening for many countries," she said.

The IMF was "on alert, not alarm," she said, in remarks that helped send equity markets lower.

There was little sign of easing the crude market glut. But research house Capital Economics said in a client note that it was "too soon to give up on a Doha deal," adding that a compromise agreement was still likely even without Iran's full participation.

Iran crude production has surged since the West lifted nuclear-linked sanctions in January, and the country, long cut out of global crude markets, has insisted it should not be the one to cut back.

AFP

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