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Oil Prices Extend Losses as Saudi Arabia Hints OPEC Deal Isn't Necessary

Oil prices retreated for a third straight trading session Monday on concerns that OPEC members will fail to agree a production cut by its self-imposed Wednesday deadline.

Saudi Arabia shook traders confidence over the weekend when it suggested OPEC didn't need to reduce output to rebalance the oil market as increasing demand over 2017 will serve to drain a supply glut that has weighed on prices.

Saudi Arabia, which has been the prime mover behind the proposal to cut production, rattled oil markets last week by pulling out of a planned Monday meeting with non-OPEC oil producers, claiming the get together was pointless until OPEC finalized its production targets.

West Texas Crude futures for delivery in January fell in early European trading to $45.56, down $0.50 or just over 1.1%. Europe's benchmark Brent Crude for delivery in January was also down, at $46.74, off $0.50 or 1%.

"We expect demand to recover in 2017, then prices will stabilize, and this will happen without an intervention from OPEC," said Saudi Arabia's energy...