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Crude Oil Futures Settle Sharply Lower

Crude oil prices declined sharply on Monday, weighed down by the recent decision by major oil producers to increase production beginning in May and on concerns about the outlook for energy demand due to rising coronavirus cases.

West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for May ended down $2.80 or about 4.6% at $58.65 a barrel, the lowest settlement in more than a week.

Brent crude futures were down $2.61 or about 4% at $62.25 a barrel a little while ago.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Russia and their allies, collectively known as OPEC+, decided last week to boost output in May by 350,000 barrels a day, and by the same amount again in June, and a further 400,000 bpd or so in July.

Saudi Arabia will restore an additional 1 million barrels per day in cuts that it made on its own as economies slowly expand after pandemic lockdowns.

Meanwhile, the outlook for energy demand appears to be weak due to spikes in coronavirus cases in several countries, including India.

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