Sunday, 16 December, 2018

Russian Federation plans to sign deal with OPEC

AP     Turkey's new drillship is seen off the coast of Antalya in October. Oil prices have fallen from their highs of over US$80 per barrel. AP AP Turkey's new drillship is seen off the coast of Antalya in October. Oil prices have fallen from their highs of over US$80 per barrel. AP
Kelvin Reese | 21 November, 2018, 10:44

West Texas Intermediate ended Tuesday's session down $3.77, or 6.6 percent, at $53.43 per barrel, while Brent fell $4.26, or 6.4 percent, to settle at $62.53 per barrel.

As trader await API inventory data tonight, expected to show a ninth weekly increase - the longest streak in a year - concerns grow that Russian Federation may not play nice with OPEC and cut production when they meet next month.

In fact, rising prices in the face of the 10-million-barrel increase in crude stocks suggests that oil may have already hit a bottom.

This is as much to grab the Asia market space vacated by lower Iranian supplies as to influence a higher drawdown from the U.S. strategic reserves and bolster market sentiment - and prices.

So far in the session, more than 585,000 USA futures contracts had changed hands, exceeding the daily average over the last 10 months.

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"This is the only way to explain why an increase in United States crude oil stocks of a good 10 million barrels failed to put further pressure on prices".

Weekly exchange data shows money managers hold a combined net long position equivalent to around 364 million barrels of US and Brent crude futures and options, down from over 800 million barrels two months ago. "Based on our balances, we expect the amount of inventories in the OECD on a days of demand cover basis to remain supportive of prices through the end of next year", Barclays said in a note. While trade tensions between China and America weaken the outlook for demand, Saudi Arabia's oil policies aim to preserve market stability, the nation's king said during his first major public speech since the murder of prominent journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Finally, lower prices could shut in marginal supply and stimulate demand. Downside risks in the form of slowing demand and rising United States shale production has outweighed the upside impact of Iranian sanctions and potential production cuts from OPEC. The contract fell as low as $52.77 on Tuesday, its weakest price level since October 2017.

Ahead of U.S. inventories data, the USA benchmark hovers a cents above the 53.00 level, extremely oversold but still bearish according to technical readings in the daily chart, as indicators resumed their declines within oversold territory, while the commodity continues developing below a strongly bearish 20 DMA. The investment bank found that since 1990-excluding the abnormal market behavior during the global financial crisis-WTI Crude typically gains 5.5 percent over the following month and rises 7.3 percent in the following three months after a plunge. A stronger tone will develop on a sustained move over $67.53. The short-term trend will be neutralized inside this zone. A weaker tone will reemerge under $63.11.

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