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Doha oil producers meeting ends without an agreement

A summit in Doha between the world's largest oil producing countries ended without an agreement on Sunday, as country leaders failed to strike a deal to freeze output and boost sagging crude prices.

Amid strains between regional rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran, nearly 20 of the world's largest oil exporters could not find enough common ground to hold the line on output after marathon talks. The dynamic has sent the world's oil supply surging and prices plummeting. A day ago, the conference's outcome was thrown into doubt after Iran made a last minute decision not to attend.

Qatar's oil minister told reporters that the group "needs more time" to construct the outlines of a deal to freeze output, but cited "improved fundamentals" as a reason why an immediate agreement wasn't necessary. Before the meeting ended in failure, a draft accord proposed to hold output at January levels until at least October.

All eyes now turn to June's meeting of OPEC countries, where the cartel's hand may be forced if crude prices begin another downward spiral. The failure of the summit could also lead to drop in crude prices in global markets.

Recently, oil prices have crept up from multi-year lows...