Oil Bounces With Supply Concerns Still Lingering

Oil edged up from multi-month lows on Thursday, but prices remained under pressure from a supply glut that has persisted despite OPEC-led efforts to balance the market.

Brent crude futures were up 60 cents at $45.42 a barrel at 1407 GMT, after falling as low as $44.53. They fell 2.6 percent in the previous session to $44.35, their lowest since November.

U.S. crude futures were up 40 cents at $42.93 a barrel, after also slipping. On Wednesday, they touched $42.05, their lowest intraday level since August 2016.



“Prices were pushed a bit too low,” Hans van Cleef, senior energy economist with ABN AMRO, said. “The people who believe in higher prices are stepping in.”

Since peaking in late February, crude has dropped around 20 percent, erasing gains at the end of the year in the wake of the initial OPEC-led production cut.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other producers agreed to reduce output by 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) from January for six months, and last month extended the deal for a further nine months.

But oversupply has persisted, particularly with output rising in Libya and Nigeria, which were exempt from the cuts due to unrest that had limited their output.

The decline has tested OPEC’s pledge to do “whatever it takes” to support oil prices.

“This is a pretty concerning time for a lot of producers,” Michael Burns, oil and gas partner at law firm Ashurst, said.

via Reuters

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza