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Crude Oil Volatile Ahead of Weekend, Heads to End Week with Loss

December 21, 2018 at 18:41 by Vladimir Vyun

Prices for crude oil were rather volatile today. Initially, crude was following global stocks in decline, trading near the lowest levels since the third quarter of 2017 and heading to end the week with about 10% loss. The commodity and equities often move hand-in-hand because both are risk-sensitive assets. And today the market sentiment was negative towards risk. North American crude reversed losses later, but only to fall back down afterwards, while world’s benchmark Brent grade did not stop its downward movement at all.

Market analysts speculated that prices for oil were collapsing because traders did not think that the OPEC+ production cuts will be enough to compensate for increasing supply from the United States and to erase global glut. To counter that, Saudi Arabia is planning to cut more than it is obligated under the production cut agreement, according to the report from the Wall Street Journal.

Talking about US supply, Baker Hughes reported that US drillers stopped reducing the number of oil rigs, increasing it by 10 this week.

Futures for delivery of WTI crude oil in February declined 0.2% to $45.79 per barrel as of 18:28 GMT on NYMEX today. Contract for Brent crude dropped 0.66% to $53.99 per barrel ICE.

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