US Oil Prices Plunge Over 2 Per Cent on Global Supply Surplus

Markets were keeping an eye on developing geopolitical tensions in the oil-producing Middle East.

2 min read

Worries over global supply surplus led to an over 2 per cent decline in US oil prices. (Photo: Reuters)

Crude futures lost ground in early Asian trading on Monday, with oil plunging over 2 per cent on festering worries over a global supply surplus.

Prices of Nymex Crude fell 1.86 percent, to nearly $41 a barrel after hitting $40.96 a barrel earlier in the session, near levels seen on Friday before the US crude December contract expired.

Brent prices fell 1.05 percent, to $44.19 a barrel, recovering from a session-low of $44.04.

The burden of carrying high US crude oil inventories is large. The markets would likely rebound only if they saw a fall in US crude inventories, while declining US crude output and seasonal demand provide some support to oil at low prices.
Kang Yoo-jin, Commodities Analyst, NH Investment and Securities

.Daniel Ang at Phillip Futures noted that a string of US economic data scheduled for release this week could test the US dollar’s recent strength. A stronger greenback makes dollar-denominated oil contracts more expensive for holders of other currencies.

With the US dollar index hovering near 100, we expect to see slightly more downside than up. This would mean that oil prices should be holding steady this week and should mean that supports of $40 and $43 for WTI and Brent January 2016 should hold.

Elsewhere, Venezuela’s oil minister said on Sunday that OPEC cannot allow an oil price war and must take action to stabilize the crude market soon. When asked how low oil prices could go in 2016 if OPEC doesn’t change its policy, he said: “Mid-20s.”

BMI Research, part of the Fitch ratings agency, said: “What is underway now is a structural market rebalancing in which low oil prices clear out high cost production - a relatively small part of which is US shale. It is not the result of OPEC policy, but of the basics of supply and demand.”

Markets were keeping an eye on developing geopolitical tensions in the oil-producing Middle East as Jordan’s King Abdullah, a US ally, will hold talks in Moscow on Tuesday with Russian President Vladimir Putin on how to tackle “terror groups” led by Islamic State in Syria, an official source said.

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