US oil prices hit 18-year low


U.S. crude oil prices slipped to a new 18-year low on Friday, ending the week on a decline.

At one point on Friday, West Texas International crude prices dropped to as low as $17.31 per barrel before eventually setting at $18.27. They had opened Friday at $20 per barrel.

Prices have seen significant declines in recent weeks amid lower levels of demand linked to the coronavirus pandemic, as well as trade disputes between Saudi Arabia and Russia.

Since then, both the U.S. and major foreign producers have agreed to cutting some oil production, a move they hoped would stabilize markets while demand falls worldwide.

A group of major oil producing countries, including Russia and Saudi Arabia, known as OPEC+ has recently agreed to reduce their oil output by just shy of 10 million barrels a day for May and June.

The U.S., Brazil and Canada, which are not part of the group, will cut an additional 3.7 million barrels.

The U.S. economy at large has also struggled amid the coronavirus pandemic, with skyrocketing unemployment claims, although stocks have posted some gains in recent days.

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