Oil sinks as Russia, Saudis postpone talks

WTI fell 6% to $26.63 a barrel

Oil prices pulled back following a week of historic gains after OPEC and its allies postponed a virtual meeting to discuss production cuts.

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Saudi Arabia and Russia have delayed their meeting that was originally scheduled for Monday until April 9 amid a dispute over which side was to blame for oil plunging last month to an 18-year low, according to a Reuters report. Just ahead of noon on Monday, a separate Reuters report said Russia is ready to discuss "very substantial" output cuts.

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West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. benchmark, traded lower by 6 percent at $26.63. Brent crude oil, the international benchmark, also fell 4.1 percent to $32.71 per barrel.

WTI posted its largest weekly gains on record last week, up 32 percent, after President Trump said he expected Saudi Arabia and Russia to cut production by 10 million barrels per day. The alliance is said to be willing to lower production, but wants U.S. shale producers to also join in the cuts.

The U.S. benchmark has plunged by as much as 57 percent from its Jan. 6 high after Russia refused to join Saudi Arabia and its allies in deepening production cuts, causing the latter to ramp up production and lower prices.

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The dispute laid siege to a market that was already seeing significant demand destruction due to the COVD-19 pandemic.