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[Published: Monday December 08 2008]

Oil prices up on talk of Opec cut

London, 08 Dec-(ANA)-Oil prices have rebounded from four-year lows after Opec's president said the oil cartel could announce a large reduction in oil production.

US light, sweet crude rose $2.55 to $43.36 a barrel and London's Brent crude went up $2.51 to $42.25 a barrel.

On Friday, oil prices fell to a low of $40.50 after weak US economic data.

Opec President Chakib Khelil said on Saturday the cartel could "surprise" markets with an output cut at its meeting on 17 December in Algeria.

He did not specify how big the cut could be, but said that some analysts were expecting a reduction of up to 2 million barrels per day.

"The possibility of Opec moving to tighten up the oil market is real," said David Moore at Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

A jump in stock markets and hopes for a stimulus plan for US carmakers also helped support oil prices.

Oil prices reached an all-time record of $147 a barrel in July.

Now analysts forecast much lower prices amid the worsening situation in the global economy.

Merrill Lynch said crude prices could fall to $25 a barrel if China is hit hard by the global recession. (ANA)

FA/ANA/08 December 2008---


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