Oil Lower as Trade and Oversupply Concerns Rise

Oil continues to drop on Friday. West Texas Intermediate is down 6.59 percent and Brent 5.75 percent and both clocking in loses near or above 10 percent on a weekly basis. Investors were anticipating a bigger disruption from US sanctions against Iranian exports, but as waivers appeared and at the same time the Trump administration pressured the OPEC to keep prices low, oversupply fears have risen.

West Texas Intermediate graph

Bearish sentiment has driven crude prices lower with both WTI and Brent losing more than 20 percent this month. Trade concerns as the US-China trade dispute is heading for a showdown in Buenos Aires have hit global growth forecasts impacting energy demand expectations.

Brent crude graph

The leaders of the US and China will meet ahead of the overarching G20 meeting in Argentina. There have been some optimistic comments last week, but the latest official statements signal the two sides are still far apart.

The lack of a unified statement at the end of the APEC summit, attended by both the US and China, set a grim forecast for the G20 meeting.

The OPEC is expected to once again agree to limit production to add stability to falling oil prices. This time around the other major producers are not as onside as they were in the past with Russia not ready to commit until more data is available. WTI is slightly above the $50 price and will test it to the downside if trade and oversupply concerns continue.

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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