US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for February delivery fell 70 cents, or 2.1 percent, to finish $33.27 a barrel on the New York Stock Exchange. WTI had hit a low of $32.10 in early European trading, a level last seen in December 2003. In London, European benchmark Brent North Sea crude oil for February fell 48 cents (1.4 percent) to $33.75 a barrel. Earlier Brent had fallen to $32.16, its lowest level since April 2004.
Oil prices steadied around $61 a barrel on Tuesday as rising expectations of deeper output cuts from OPEC and its allies were countered by a potential delay to a U.S.-China trade agreement until after the next U.S. presidential election.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies, known as OPEC+, are discussing a plan to increase an existing supply cut of 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) by a further 400,000 bpd and extend the pact until June.
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