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U.S. oil prices drop to record low

The price of US oil has fallen to record lows, as demand dries up and storage runs out.

The price of a barrel of West Texas Intermediate (WTI), the benchmark for US oil, has plunged more than 50% to less than $9 a barrel.

The oil market has come under intense pressure during the coronavirus pandemic with a huge slump in demand.

As a result, US storage facilities are now struggling to cope with the glut of oil, weakening prices further.

The oil industry has been struggling with both tumbling demand and in-fighting among producers about reducing output.

Earlier this month, members of OPEC (Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries) and its allies finally agreed a record deal to slash global output by about 10%.

The deal was the largest cut in oil production ever to have been agreed.

But some analysts said the cuts were not big enough to make a difference.

Oil is traded on its future price and May futures contracts are due to expire on Tuesday.

Brent oil, the benchmark used by Europe and the rest of the world, was also weaker, down 5.3% to $26.58 a barrel.

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