Oil pared losses after closing at the lowest price since July 2009 as Saudi Arabia questioned the need to cut output, bolstering speculation that OPEC’s biggest producer will defend market share.
Brent futures rose as much as 1.1 percent in London while West Texas Intermediate increased 1.2 percent in New York. The market will correct itself, according to Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Ali Al-Naimi. Global demand for crude from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will fall next year by about 300,000 barrels a day to 28.9 million, the least since 2003, the group predicted yesterday.
Oil’s collapse into a bear market has been exacerbated as OPEC’s three largest members offered discounts on exports to Asia. The group, which supplies about 40 percent of the world’s crude, decided against reducing its output quota at a meeting last month even as the U.S. pumps at the fastest pace in more than three decades.