Oil prices tumble as OPEC, Russia squabble


Oil prices tumbled on Friday (March 6).

That after Reuters reported that Russia had rejected an OPEC plan to cut output.

The group of major producer nations was meeting in Vienna.

On Thursday (March 5) they agreed an extra production cut of 1.5 million barrels per day, on top of existing restrictions.

That's intended to help bolster prices amid the coronavirus outbreak, which has sapped global economic activity.

The plan was conditional on Russia and other non-OPEC members taking part.

They were supposed to contribute about a third of the reduction.

But on Friday it became clear that Moscow wasn't playing ball.

Sources say Russian officials argue that it's too soon to predict the impact of the virus outbreak.

International benchmark Brent crude fell over 6% as reports came in from Vienna.

That leaves prices well below $50 per barrel, a level that puts many OPEC treasuries under strain.