Oil in bear market set for 5th weekly loss on supply glut fears

November 9, 2018 | By | Reply More

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Gas flares burn from pipes aboard an offshore oil platform in the Persian Gulf’s Salman Oil Field, operated by the National Iranian Offshore Oil Co, near Lavan island, Iran. (Bloomberg pic)

SINGAPORE: Oil is poised for a fifth weekly loss after slipping into a bear market as record American production, expanding inventories and waivers granted to some countries for Iranian imports stoked concerns of a supply glut.

Futures in New York were little changed, heading for a 4.4% decline this week.

US crude production surged to a record 11.6 million barrels a day, while nationwide inventories rose more than expected.

Meanwhile, with energy prices slumping, Opec and its allies will discuss scenarios including the possibility of cutting production again next year during a meeting in Abu Dhabi on Sunday, according to delegates.

Crude slumped after reaching a four-year high last month as the US allowed eight countries to continue importing oil from the Persian Gulf state even after it hits the Opec producer with sanctions.

While the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its partners are ramping up production, concerns of faltering emerging-market economies and a trade war between America and China threaten to hurt energy demand.

“Certainly, the waivers on US sanctions for Iranian crude have really accelerated the decline from last month and sensitivity to those issues have been high in recent times,” said Daniel Hynes, a Sydney-based senior strategist at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd.

Growing US supplies “add to rising concerns of output,” while “the meeting over the weekend between Opec and Russia may set the tone for the next Opec meeting in December.”

West Texas Intermediate for December delivery traded 30 cents lower at US$60.37 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 10.42am in Singapore.

The contract fell 1.6% to US$60.67 on Thursday. Total volume traded was 13% below the 100-day average.

Brent futures for January settlement lost 16 cents to US$70.49 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.

Prices are on course for a fifth weekly drop of 3.2%. The global benchmark crude traded at a US$9.94 premium to WTI for the same month.

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