From Russia with love? Trump and Putin hold successful oil production talks

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The US President said he expected the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other countries to be striking deals over oil in the near future. It came as the US president said on Thursday he had had a good conservation with Russian president Vladimir Putin and Saudi Arabia’s King Salman.

He said: “We had a big talk as to oil production and OPEC and making it so that our industry does well and the oil industry does better than its doing right now.

“OPEC met today.

“And I would say they’re getting close to a deal. We’ll soon find out.”

On Thursday, OPEC and its allies led by Russia agreed to cut their oil output by more than a fifth.

They said they expected the US and other producers to join in their effort to lift prices that have been driven into the ground as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

Trump said: “They’ll probably announce something either today or tomorrow, one way or the other.

“Could be good, could be not so good.”

He added that there was “so much production nobody even knows what to do with it”, explaining that storage was filling up.

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There, nearly half a million people have tested positive for COVID-19, the number likely far higher with undocumented and asymptomatic cases.

It has the second highest number of recorded deaths, just behind Italy, at 16, 498.

The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits has surged as millions are left without work following lockdown measures.

More than 6.6million people filed jobless claims in the week ending April 4, according to the US Department of Labor.

In order to counter the dire economic situation, the Federal Reserve said it would unleash an additional $ 2.3trillion (£1.8trillion) in lending.

In the past three weeks more than 16million people have made unemployment claims after around 95 percent of Americans were put on some form of lockdown.

Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia said: “Today’s report continues to reflect the personal sacrifice being made by America’s workers and their families to slow the spread of the coronavirus.”

Normally the world’s biggest economy, the rising joblessness has caused a stark reversal where unemployment rates had been hovering at around 3.5 percent.

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