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Saudi Arabian Energy Minister Khalid Al Falih. Photo: Askin Kiyagan/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Russia and OPEC have struck a deal to cut oil production by 1.2 million barrels a day that could make a dent in the oil supply glut, the WSJ reports. Iran scored an exemption from the cuts since it is subject to U.S. sanctions, per Bloomberg.

Why it matters: The agreement reached in Vienna should help prop up prices that have been largely tumbling for roughly two months, a collapse that threatened the finances of Saudi Arabia and other petro-states.

Prices climbed sharply as news of the agreement emerged Friday — by as much as 6%, and trading above $63 per barrel in London, per Bloomberg.

The big picture: Failure to reach a significant deal would have been a major setback for cartel's already diminished ability to influence global markets, which have been re-shaped by the rise of the U.S. into one of the world's three dominant producers alongside Russia and Saudi Arabia.

  • It would have also been a blow to the future of the supply management partnership between Saudi Arabia and Russia (among other OPEC and non-OPEC players) in place for the last two years.

What they're saying: "OPEC, or more precisely Saudi Arabia, has been the head honcho of the oil world for nearly six decades. Yet these days it seems unable to make a decision without Russia’s blessing, let alone without risking the wrath of the U.S. President," said PVM Oil Associates Ltd. analyst Stephen Brennock in remarks quoted by Bloomberg and the WSJ.

What's next: One thing to watch is the reaction of President Trump, who has been publicly urging OPEC not to cut production.

Go deeper

Group of 20 bipartisan senators back $1.2T infrastructure framework

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) arrives for a meeting with Senate Budget Committee Democrats in the Mansfield Room at the U.S. Capitol building on June 16, 2021 in Washington, DC. The Majority Leader and Democrats on the Senate Budget Committee are meeting to discuss how to move forward with the Biden Administrations budget proposal. Photo: Samuel Corum / Getty Images

A group of 10 Democratic and 10 Republican senators (the "G20") tasked with negotiating an infrastructure deal with the White House has released a statement in support of a $1.2 trillion framework.

Why it matters: Details regarding the plan have not yet been released, but getting 10 Republicans on board means the bill could get the necessary 60 votes to pass.

DOJ drops criminal probe, civil lawsuit against John Bolton over Trump book

Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

The Justice Department has closed its criminal investigation into whether President Trump's former national security adviser John Bolton disclosed classified information with his tell-all memoir, “The Room Where it Happened," according to a source with direct knowledge.

Why it matters: The move comes a year after the Trump administration tried to silence Bolton by suing him in federal court, claiming he breached his contract by failing to complete a pre-publication review for classified information. Prosecutors indicated they had reached a settlement with Bolton to drop the lawsuit in a filing on Wednesday.

Fed may raise rates sooner, as inflation is higher than expected

Feb chair Jerome Powell. Photo: Susan Walsh/Getty Images

The Federal Reserve kept rates unchanged at its latest policy meeting, but a shift in sentiment emerged as to how soon it should begin raising rates.

Why it matters: The Fed's rock-bottom rates policy and monthly asset purchases helped the U.S. markets avoid a meltdown during the COVID-19 crisis last year. But as the economy recovers, a chorus is growing for the Fed to at least consider a timeline for pulling back its support before things get overheated.

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