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Saudi Oil Minister Khalid al-Falih said on Sunday that the current cycle of falling crude prices is close to an end as market fundamentals improve. Oil prices are currently hovering at around $50 per barrel after hitting a 10-year low of less than $30 in January, down from a peak of more than $100 in mid-2014. "The current down cycle is nearing an end," Falih told a joint press conference with his Russian counterpart Alexander Novak on Sunday after a Gulf ministerial meeting in Riyadh.
By Saif Hameed and Babak Dehghanpisheh ERBIL (Reuters) - Kurdish fighters said they had taken the town of Bashiqa near Mosul from Islamic State on Sunday as coalition forces pressed their offensive against the jihadists' last stronghold in Iraq. Masoud Barzani, President of the Iraqi Kurdish region, told U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter that the Kurds had succeeded in liberating Bashiqa from Islamic State. Kurdish Peshmerga fighters told reporters at the scene that they had entered Bashiqa.