Opec agrees on output cut, Saudis under fire from US Congress and diamonds aren’t forever

Agreement over production cut sends crude prices higher by more than 6%

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Some of the world’s biggest oil producers have agreed to cut production for the first time in eight years, sending crude prices higher by more than 6 per cent.

The agreement at a meeting of Opec members in Algeria surprised oil traders, who thought consensus would be difficult to reach because of divisions between Saudi Arabia and Iran, two of Opec’s largest and most influential members who are at political loggerheads.

The group agreed in principle to reduce output to 32.5m-33m barrels a day, but will not begin cutting output until the cartel’s next meeting on November 30. There is also no decision on the amount of oil individual countries must cut back. Nonetheless, the oil price briefly rose above $49 a barrel on Thursday. (FT)

In the news

Saudis under fire with 9/11 vote The US Senate overrode a veto by President Barack Obama, allowing victims and families of the 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center to sue Saudi Arabia over its alleged connection to religious extremism and its conduct of the war in Yemen. “It’s a dangerous precedent and it’s an example of why sometimes you have to do what’s hard,” said Mr Obama. (FT, Guardian, BBC)

India-Pakistan escalation India has launched what it called “surgical strikes” on militant camps in Pakistani-administered Kashmir as relations between the two South Asian nuclear powers worsen. New Delhi accuses Pakistan of sponsoring cross-border raids on Indian territory. Pakistan denies the accusations. (Reuters)

Volkswagen unveils electric car VW’s newest vehicle will go up to 600km on a single charge and is due to go on sale in 2020, according to the German carmaker. The company will also be hoping to draw a line under last year’s emissions scandal, when its “clean” diesel cars were found to be emitting nitrogen oxides up to 40 times above permitted levels. (FT)

Draghi drawn into Deutsche Bank troubles Fears for the financial health of Deutsche Bank moved into the German political arena on Wednesday as Berlin was forced to deny it was preparing a rescue and Mario Draghi was grilled by the Bundestag over the future of the bank. (FT)

Eurozone confidence up Despite Europe’s turmoil over the UK’s vote to leave the EU, eurozone economic confidence has hit its highest level since January. The boost is driven by an improving outlook in the bloc’s five strongest economies. (FT)

It’s a big day for

Mexico’s central bank The board of governors will face a tough choice at its last scheduled monetary policy meeting before the US election over whether or not the peso’s collapse to historic lows this week warrants a rise in interest rates. (FT)

Food for thought

The name’s @JamesBond These days James Bond is more likely to be a data analyst than a tuxedo-clad martini drinker, as digital disruption sweeps through the British intelligence services. (FT)

Diamonds: Nothing lasts forever A tradition-bound industry is trying to adapt as jewellery sales fall and consumer tastes change. (FT)

Is matcha tea the new latte? As tea consumption soars in the US, Japan’s matcha — the finely ground tea used in traditional tea ceremonies — has gone from niche drink to mainstream trend. (NAR)

Move like your brain depended on it Before you skip another workout, you might think about your brain. A provocative new study finds that some of the benefits of exercise for brain health may evaporate if we take to the couch and stop being active, even just for a week. (NYT)

Iraq’s brutal Isis-busting housewife Wahid Mohamed has lost two husbands, her father, three brothers and countless livestock to Isis violence. But she is fighting back with her own militia using some of the group’s brutal tactics: when she catches the group’s fighters she beheads them and cooks their heads, then posts the images on her Facebook page. (CNN)

Video of the day

Corbyn speech appeals to faithful The UK Labour party conference has come to an end, with leader Jeremy Corbyn delivering his conference speech. The FT’s Jim Pickard says Mr Corbyn appeared re-energised following his comfortable re-election win, but can his message, which failed to mention Brexit, resonate with Middle England voters? (FT)

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