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Is this the bottom?

The Doha deal and some changing sentiment are giving hope to a struggling market

After plunging to 12-year lows in mid-January, Brent prices have traded in a steady range of between around $30-35 a barrel, raising a simple question: has the market bottomed out? A significant shift in Saudi Arabia's previous policy to keep the taps running at all costs gives some sign that it has. Cajoled by Venezuela, on 16 February the kingdom joined Russia and Qatar (involved because it holds the Opec presidency) in agreeing to freeze crude production at January's levels. Front-month Brent futures responded by making temporary gains above $35/b before dropping back down to around $32/b later that day.  The four-nation Doha deal might have shown a new Saudi willingness to consider sup

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