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 U.S. equities closed sharply lower on Tuesday, extending a pre-Thanksgiving rout that started as weakness in technology and internet-related companies but has now spread to the broader market. Last night, weak results and downbeat forecasts from several retailers including Target and Kohl's fanned worries about holiday-season sales, adding to the selling pressure. Meanwhile, the Trump administration said on Tuesday said that China has failed to alter its "unfair" practices at the heart of the U.S.-China trade dispute. The findings were issued in an update of the U.S. Trade Representative's "Section 301" investigation into China's intellectual property policies, which triggered U.S. tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese imports that have since ballooned to $250 billion.

Oil markets are entering an unprecedented period of uncertainty due to geopolitical instability and a fragile global economy, the head of the International Energy Agency Fatih Birol said on Tuesday. Although the U.S. waivers for Iran’s key oil customers were a relief to the oil market, it "took some of the players in the market by surprise … As a result, what we see today is that markets are well supplied and the (oil) price went down by $20," Birol told reporters at a conference. He warned that "the global economy is still going through a very difficult time and is very fragile and ... we have very thin production capacity left in the world, in a world which is becoming more dangerous." OPEC and its de-facto leader Saudi Arabia have already started to hint that a new production cut may be in the works.

Iraq’s oil exports from the Kirkuk oil province could reach up to 400,000 bpd, higher than the 300,000-bpd exported before the halt last year, a Kurdish politician told Sputnik on Tuesday after exports resumed last week. This development could add more oil to the market at a time when participants fear an oversupply and OPEC considers new production cuts.


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