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Oil prices dip over scepticism ahead of Opec meeting

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Oil prices fell early on Tuesday on doubts that producer cartel Opec will be able to hammer out a meaningful output cut during a meeting on Wednesday to rein in a global supply overhang and prop up prices.

[SINGAPORE] Oil prices fell early on Tuesday on doubts that producer cartel Opec will be able to hammer out a meaningful output cut during a meeting on Wednesday to rein in a global supply overhang and prop up prices.

International Brent crude oil futures were trading at US$48.10 per barrel at 0102 GMT, down 14 US cents, or 0.3 per cent, from their last close.

US West Texas Intermediate crude futures were down 19 US cents, or 0.4 per cent, at US$46.89 a barrel.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) is meeting officially in Vienna on Wednesday to discuss a planned production cut in an effort to curb overproduction that has dogged markets and more than halved prices since 2014.

With a high degree of uncertainty going into the last 24 hours before the meeting, oil price volatility is expected to be high.

"We expect intra-day volatility to ratchet higher again into tomorrow, with price action being entirely headline driven," said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at Oanda brokerage in Singapore.

There remains disagreement among Opec-members over which producers should cut by how much, and a plan to bring non-Opec oil giant Russia to participate has so far also failed.

REUTERS