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Oil slips towards $98 on concerns of faster US interest rates hike

The price of Brent crude slipped towards $98 per barrel today on concerns of a faster hike in US interest rates.


Oil prices remained below $100 for more than a week amid weak demand and ample supplies.


Reuters reported that Brent crude for November delivery declined 51 cents to $98.46 a barrel while the October US crude contract dropped 54 cents to settle at $93.88.


The prices of oil were also affected by an increase in US crude stocks.


Data from the Energy Information Administration revealed that US crude stocks increased 3.7 million barrels last week, compared to analysts' expectations of a drop of 1.6 million barrels.


The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) secretary General Abdullah al-Badri said earlier this week that there could be a reduction of 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) in the group's oil supply to 29.5 million bpd in 2015.


Other OPEC delegates, who did not support al-Badri's comments, estimate improved winter demand will push prices up.


Saudi Arabia deputy oil minister Abdulaziz Bin Salman Bin Abdulazi was quoted by Reuters as saying that short-term price moves do not mean much for the kingdom.


The market may also get support from investors who are looking to buy oil contracts to cover an open short position.


Meanwhile, oil output in Libya declined by around 200,000 bpd after an outage at the El Sharara field.


Oil unions in Nigeria continued strike action, which is expected to affect exports in the next few months.

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