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WTI pares early losses, turns flat on day near $51

  • Russia wants more time to before deciding on output cuts.
  • US Energy Secretary says impact of coronavirus on energy markets is marginal.
  • Coming up: Baker Hughes' weekly Oil Rig Count.

After testing the $50 mark earlier in the day, the barrel of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) staged a rebound in the second half of the day to turn flat near $51.

Eyes on Russia's decision on output cuts

Russia's Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Friday that they need a few more days to assess the oil market before deciding on their position on additional oil output cuts that were recommended by OPEC+ Joint Technical Committee (JTC) earlier in the week. Novak further noted that the global oil demand in 2020 could fall by between 150,000 and 200,000 barrels per day (bpd) when compared to 2019 amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Commenting on Novak's remarks, “we can expect an answer from Russia in the coming days, and in the meantime, the oil market is likely to remain under pressure as fears of large surpluses loom large,” said TD Securities analysts.

Nevertheless, week-end flows into London fix seems to be helping the WTI retrace its drop. Additionally, US Energy Secretary Brouillette noted that the impact of coronavirus on energy markets was "currently marginal."

Later in the session, Baker Hughes Energy Services will publish its weekly Oil Rig Count.

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