Oil prices resumed their rise today and held above the 50 dollar barrier following Opec’s decision to carry out its first output cut in eight years. The organization of the petroleum exporting countries at a meeting in Vienna yesterday agreed on specific targets to enact a preliminary deal struck in September designed to ease a global crude supply glut and boost prices. Many analysts had expected the producers’ cartel to fail to reach a deal as major players like Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia remained divided ahead of the meeting. Crude futures prices surged more than 10 percent immediately after the OPEC deal. At 0630 GMT Thursday, after a brief dip in early Asian trade, US benchmark West Texas intermediate for January delivery was up 70 cents or 1.42 percent at 50.14, dollars while Brent Crude for February was 81 cents or 1.6 percent higher at 52.65 dollars.

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