OPEC to slash output

LONDON, England — Sagging crude oil prices are being blamed for an Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) announcement that it will cut output by one million barrels a day.

The reduction represents a drop of about four per cent of the alliance’s official target level.

The decision by all 11 OPEC members is aimed at supporting prices at around US$25 a barrel in the face of eroding demand in the U.S., Europe and Asia, according to financial experts. The cut is to take effect Sept. 1. Energy analysts said the move would indeed firm up prices, but not to the point of causing serious pain for consumers in importing countries.

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