The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries on Thursday agreed to extend its production cuts for nine months, according to media reports, citing a delegate at the highly anticipated meeting in Vienna. The delegate asked not to be named until an official announcement is made. The OPEC ministers will discuss the production accord with a group of non-cartel members later on Thursday and are expected to hold a joint press conference at 5 p.m. local time, or 11 a.m. Eastern Time. A coalition of 24 major oil producers in November agreed to cut production by a collective 1.8 million barrels a day in an effort to reduce global oil supply and boost prices. Traders had widely expected the OPEC ministers to agree on a nine-month extension, but there was also some hope that they would deepen the cuts. In the absence of any deeper cuts, oil prices tumbled after reports of the agreement. Crude oil fell 1.8% to $50.41 a barrel, while Brent lost 1.6% to $50.42.
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