Oil prices slide below $45 per barrel

Oil prices stabilized in Asian trading Friday after hitting a five-month low while regional stock benchmarks headed lower in holiday-thinned trading
OPEC likely to extend output pact, bigger oil cut unlikely: delegates | Reuters
Author

13 May, 2017

JOB REPORT: Investors' attention now turns to U.S.jobs data due after Asian markets close, when the Labor Department releases nonfarm payrolls for April. The S&P Oil & Gas Exploration and Production Index had slid as much as 4.9 percent Thursday to the lowest since August.

The market is expecting OPEC and other producers to extend production cuts well into the second half of the year. The increase in production threatens the attempts by the cartel and eleven other countries to underpin prices by lowering their production as agreed on 30 November 2016.

Oil prices down by about 15% since the start of the year, despite Opec's agreement in November which cut output by 1.8 million barrels a day.

Adding to concerns about bulging inventories, traders pointed to soaring USA oil output, which is up more than 10% since mid-2016 to 9.3 million bpd, nearly matching output of top producers Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia.

Novak has said Russian Federation is inclined to prolong the accord.

WTI Crude is now trading down 5.05 percent at $45.52, with Brent Crude down 4.98 percent at $48.38.

Brent crude futures, the global benchmark for oil prices, were at $47.05 per barrel at 0335 GMT, down $1.33 or 2.8 percent from their last close. "The market continues to hunt for a bottom", said Gene McGillian, manager of market research at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut.

Fears are growing that Opec and non-Opec producers' reductions are not doing enough to curb output as U.S. stockpiles grow while the country's shale gas production rockets.

US crude stockpiles fell less than expected last week, while gasoline inventories grew as demand remained weak, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday, keeping concerns about global supply on a simmer.

Brent crude futures, the worldwide benchmark for oil prices, were at $48.41 per barrel at 0047 GMT, up 3 cents from their last close.

"It is now-or-never for oil bulls", said USA commodity analysis firm The Schork Report on Friday. Oil recovered some of its losses later Friday, trading 0.5% lower at around $45.30 by late afternoon in Asia. Crude stockpiles fell by 930,000 barrels, compared with the median estimate for a 3 million-barrel drop in the Bloomberg survey.

"I have doubts that more cuts will be discussed as the current agreement is yielding a positive outcome", he said.

US production "continues to grow hand over fist, and the market will remain well oversupplied given the lack of" refined fuel demand, he added.


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