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Oil recovers from decades’ lows as Russia & US agree energy talks

The price of crude rebounded on Tuesday from an 18-year low after Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart Donald Trump have agreed talks to stabilize energy markets.

International benchmark Brent rose 1.5 percent to $23.15 per barrel, as of 08:06 GMT. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was up six percent at $21.19 a barrel. Both Brent and the WTI closed the previous session at their lowest levels since 2002.

According to the Kremlin, Trump and Putin agreed during a phone call on Monday to have their top energy officials discuss stabilizing oil markets.

“Oil prices are clawing back from a near 18-year low on hopes that oversupply concerns may finally see some relief,” senior market analyst at broker OANDA, Edward Moya told Reuters. “Much of the focus has fallen on a key call between the Presidents of the United States and Russia.”

The oil industry has been hurt by the largest demand drop in history. Oil prices have tanked by more than half in the past month, with companies cutting back and closing production as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, combined with the OPEC+ disagreement over production cuts.

UBS said that it estimates global oil demand to fall by 1.2 million bpd, or 1.2 percent, over the whole of 2020, weighed down by the coronavirus pandemic.