Oil prices resume drop
Oil futures fell Monday after a brief rebound before the weekend, as the market focused firmly on whether OPEC is likely to cut output to tackle recent price slumps.
Brent North Sea crude for delivery in January was down 85 cents at $78.
56 a barrel in late London deals -- hit also by a strengthening dollar that makes the commodity more expensive for holders of rival currencies.
US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for December slid 77 cents to $75.
05 a barrel.
"Oil has resumed its downward march as investors weigh up the likelihood of OPEC cutting output," said Mike van Dulken, head of research at traders Accendo Markets.
Prices sank to four-year lows last week following remarks by ministers from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) that it is unlikely to slash output at its meeting next week.
But analysts now say the losses could push the 12-nation cartel to cobble together a deal to cut output, despite resistance from some members.
Venezuela and Ecuador have called publicly for a cut, while Iran has hinted at a need to reduce output as oil producing countries see their income slide.
However, Saudi Arabia, the world's top producer and OPEC's kingpin, has reduced prices on crude exports to the US market in a move seen by some as an effort to maintain market share as it faces competition from rising shale oil production.
OPEC's next meeting is set for November 27 in Vienna, home to the cartel's headquarters.
© 2014 AFP