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US oil prices rebound after tumbling to lowest since June 2017 on economy fears

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Oil prices were mixed in thin trading on Wednesday as the US benchmark rebounded from steep losses in the previous session, even though concern over the health of the global economy continued to overshadow the market in the longer term.

[SEOUL] Oil prices were mixed in thin trading on Wednesday as the US benchmark rebounded from steep losses in the previous session, even though concern over the health of the global economy continued to overshadow the market in the longer term.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures, were up 35 cents, or 0.82 per cent, at US$42.88 per barrel, at 0152 GMT, having at one point risen as high as 2 per cent from the last close. They had slumped 6.7 per cent in the previous session to US$42.53 a barrel - the lowest since June 2017.

Meanwhile Brent crude oil futures were down 16 cents or 0.32 per cent at US$50.31 a barrel, having skidded 6.2 per cent in the previous session to US$50.47 a barrel, the weakest since August 2017.

Broader financial markets have been under pressure on worries about a global economic slowdown amid higher US interest rates and the US-China trade dispute.

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Market voices on:

"US equity futures are trading a bit firmer this morning triggering some little buying interest in the oil markets," said Stephen Innes, head of trading for Asia-Pacific at futures brokerage Oanda in Singapore.

But Mr Innes added macroeconomics fears will continue unless the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) "reassures markets the viability of their supply cuts and even impose deeper ones as some members have suggested".

Opec and allies led by Russia agreed this month to cut oil production by 1.2 million barrels per day from January.

Elsewhere, US political turmoil triggered by the partial shutdown of the federal government is also adding to market concerns. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that shutdown could last until his demand for US-Mexico border wall money is met. 

REUTERS