Brent Crude Prices Fall 2%

Brent Crude Prices Fall 2%Brent Crude Prices Fall 2%

Oil prices fell on Wednesday on expectations OPEC would not act to curb oil supply as a number of members remain focused firmly on defending market share.

Meanwhile, concerns about China's economy also weighed on the demand outlook. Brent crude futures were down $1.05, or 2.1%, at $48.84 per barrel. US crude futures fell $1.11, or 2.3%, to $47.99 a barrel, CNBC reported.

Futures steadily declined throughout the morning despite a senior OPEC source saying Persian Gulf members, including Saudi Arabia, are looking to revive the idea of coordinated oil-output action by major producers when the group meets on Thursday.

"The (Persian) Gulf Cooperation Council is looking for coordinated action at the meeting," the source said, referring to a group combining OPEC's biggest producer Saudi Arabia and its allies Qatar, Kuwait and the UAE.

But traders said oil prices eased on concern that Middle East members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries could continue to raise output.

Iran's representative to the OPEC said Tehran would not commit to any oil output freeze and that any discussion of rationing output would have to wait until the oil market had stabilized.

Saudi Arabia effectively scuppered plans for a global production freeze that aimed at stabilizing oil markets in April. It said then that it would join the deal, which would also have involved non-OPEC member Russia, only if Iran agreed to freeze output.

A rise of more than 20%, or almost $10 per barrel, since early April, has been powered largely by supply disruptions, especially in Africa and Canada, and as overall demand remains strong despite China's slowing economy.