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OPEC producers agreed to leave oil supply limits unchanged amid rising expectations of an imminent resumption of U.N.-supervised Iraqi exports.
Qatari Oil Minister Abdullah al-Attiyah said OPEC had decided to leave output on hold at 24.2 million barrels a day until the cartel's next meeting scheduled for September 26-27, according to the Associated Press.
OPEC left output restrictions in place to support crude near its $25 a barrel target after a price slide in recent weeks. It cut supply by 2.5 million barrels daily early this year.
OPEC's meeting was timed to coincide with a United Nations vote on Iraq on Tuesday that is likely to see a renewal of existing sanctions measures against Baghdad, including an oil-for-food program.
Iraq stopped oil sales under the program in early June in protest at plans to overhaul the Gulf War embargo. Russian opposition saw the western powers shelve their proposals yesterday, greatly improving the prospects for an Iraqi export resumption.