Slow Growth Prospect Sends Oil Prices Down Despite Supply Cuts

Oil prices took a dip on Friday in Asia despite reports of OPEC output cuts and U.S. sanction on Venezuela, as traders are still worried about the global economic slowdown.

The U.S. Crude Oil WTI Futures that dropped by around 2.5% in the previous session kept the downward trend on Friday and were trading at $52.21 per barrel at 11:11 PM EST (4:11 AM GMT), down 0.82%.

International Brent Oil Futures were down 0.67%, at $61.22 per barrel after falling 1.7% in the previous session.

Dampening the market is the possible negative impact of the unresolved disputes between China and the U.S. on the global economic growth prospect.

U.S. President Donald Trump said that there would be no talks between him and Chinese President Xi Jinping before the trade deal deadline on March 1, raising new concerns about the trade tensions between the world’s two biggest economies. Last week, Trump suggested that he would have a face-to-face with Xi in late February but ruled out such a meeting on Thursday.

“Crude prices returned to the lows of the week as slower growth prospects…could signal a return (of reasons) for inventories to rise,” said Edward Moya, market analyst at futures brokerage Oanda, in a Reuters report.

Meanwhile, the supply cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) that were introduced last year were continued to be cited as a tailwind for oil prices, although it was largely overshadowed by the renewed trade concerns this week.

Saudi Arabia, the de-facto leader of OPEC, cut its crude output in January by about 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 10.24 million bpd – almost 1.7 million bpd below that of the U.S., Reuters reported according to OPEC sources.

The U.S. sanctions implemented in late January have made it harder for Venezuela to export oil, but the impact on international oil markets is still limited at the moment, with some analysts saying oil markets currently “sit on a comfortable cushion of supply.”

On Thursday, a U.S. House of Representatives committee approved a bill that would expose OPEC members to U.S. antitrust lawsuits, but the measure is yet to be considered by the full chamber.


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Ed Moya

Ed Moya

Senior Market Analyst, The Americas at OANDA
With more than 20 years’ trading experience, Ed Moya is a senior market analyst with OANDA, producing up-to-the-minute intermarket analysis, coverage of geopolitical events, central bank policies and market reaction to corporate news. His particular expertise lies across a wide range of asset classes including FX, commodities, fixed income, stocks and cryptocurrencies. Over the course of his career, Ed has worked with some of the leading forex brokerages, research teams and news departments on Wall Street including Global Forex Trading, FX Solutions and Trading Advantage. Most recently he worked with, where he provided market analysis on economic data and corporate news. Based in New York, Ed is a regular guest on several major financial television networks including CNBC, Bloomberg TV, Yahoo! Finance Live, Fox Business and Sky TV. His views are trusted by the world’s most renowned global newswires including Reuters, Bloomberg and the Associated Press, and he is regularly quoted in leading publications such as MSN, MarketWatch, Forbes, Breitbart, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. Ed holds a BA in Economics from Rutgers University.
Ed Moya