The price of Brent crude oil dropped towards $79.20 a barrel today as traders’ expectations of a major output reduction by OPEC dwindled.
Reuters reported that Brent crude traded at $79.21 a barrel, while US crude declined 21 cents to settle at $75.57 a barrel.
Meanwhile, the market received some support from an increase in German GDP and expectations of robust US data.
OPEC is due to meet in Vienna on Thursday to discuss its oil production policy.
Several members are urging the group to reduce oil production targets by one million barrels per day or more to support prices, which have decreased 30% since June.
Libya, Iran, Venezuela and Ecuador have asked fellow countries to support oil prices via production cuts, while Kuwait has said a reduction is unlikely.
Saudi Arabia is yet to make a final decision on a possible output reduction. The country’s Oil Minister Ali al-Naim recently said that the kingdom wanted stable oil prices.
Barclays Bank was quoted by Reuters as saying: "Saudi Arabia’s response so far to falling oil prices is an acknowledgment that it is less able to influence oil prices than at any time over the past decade."
Several commodity fund managers suggest that oil prices may slide to $60 per barrel if OPEC does not agree to an output cut.