Watching the World: Too soon to roll out the barrels

Though traders continue to test market support for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries' $25/bbl target, last month's decision by the 10 voting members of OPEC to cut a further 1 million b/d from collective production has gone some way toward seeing off a feared crude price slide.Analysts' views of the wisdom of this reduction-and the likely immediate and longer-term effects of the "success" of OPEC's price-bolstering strategy-however, remain divergent.ABN-AMRO Bank NV this month raised its Brent crude price forecast for the year to $25/bbl and to $24/bbl through to 2004. There are "inevitable uncertainties" surrounding any oil price projection, but bank analy...

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