Oil slips as OPEC dithers
(AFP, LONDON) - Oil prices slipped amid confusion as to whether or not OPEC producers would pump more oil to soothe over-heating world markets.
The week began on a blue note for oil traders as the incumbent OPEC chief, Venezuela's mines minister Ali Rodriguez, said that the cartel would open the taps to fresh oil supplies by the end of this month.
But when average prices immediately fell back below $28 a barrel, dealers said that a price fixing agreement reached in March would be delayed, causing prices to rise once more.
However, dealers felt increasingly certain that more oil would flow on to the markets soon.
Even if OPEC itself did not increase output, Saudi Arabia was expected to bow to US pressure and provide fresh supplies.
Platinum prices rose to an 11-year high as supplies from Russia remained thin on the ground.
by Coralie Schaub
© Agence France Presse 2000
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)