Oil prices ease in cautious trading ahead of OPEC meeting
Oil prices ease in cautious trading ahead of OPEC meeting
Oil prices skid amid global stock market slump, swelling US supply
06 December, 2018, 09:16
U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday called on the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies not to cut oil production next year, saying it would trigger higher oil prices worldwide.
Saudi Arabia, OPEC's de facto leader, has pressed for steep output reductions but has faced pressure from Trump to keep oil flows steady to keep prices low, rather than reduce inventory.
Russia, a major oil producer but not a member of OPEC, will meet with the producer cartel on Friday to discuss production levels, and it is widely expected that a supply cut will be agreed.
The slide in United States oil followed a tumble in global stock markets on Tuesday and Wednesday, with investors anxious about the threat of a widespread economic slowdown.
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Led by Saudi Arabia, OPEC's crude oil production has risen by 4.1 percent since mid-2018, to 33.31 million barrels per day (bpd). But they're contending with vociferous opposition from the US president, who's taken to using his Twitter account to berate the group's policies and sees low oil prices as key to sustaining America's economic growth.
The move has frustrated many producers, prompting Qatar to announce that it was quitting OPEC to focus on gas in a swipe at Saudi Arabia. "How OPEC communicates this to the market may be just as important as what gets done".
Riyadh wants Moscow to contribute at least 250,000-300,000 bpd to the cut but Russian Federation insists the amount should be only half of that, OPEC and non-OPEC sources said.
"I think the likelihood is that they will cut crude production rate, maybe not as dramatically as some people would like, to try and meet a balance between what the US would like and their own personal interests".
Despite the Iranian official's remarks, Kuwait's oil ministry said on its Twitter account on Wednesday that a long-term cooperation agreement is expected to be signed between OPEC and non-OPEC countries.
"I hope that maybe these measures won't be necessary", he said in an interview with Bloomberg television in Vienna. Libya and Nigeria, which were exempt from making cuts in the 2016 deal that created the OPEC+ group, have accepted that they will have to participate this time, said Al Rumhy.
"Markets.believe the production cut deal will be in range of 1-1.3 million bpd", ANZ bank said on Thursday. Saudi Arabia, Russia and the UAE have raised output since June after Trump called for higher production to compensate for lower Iranian exports due to new USA sanctions. "Especially the big boys - they would want to keep this cut very close to their heart".
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Trump has vowed to eventually cut off all Iranian oil exports, but the administration has given waivers to several countries. Rouhani last threatened to close the Gulf in July when he warned the United States "should not play with the lion's tail".
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Small-company stocks, which investors see as more risky than large multinationals, fell more than the rest of the market. The Shanghai Composite index lost 0.5 percent to 2,653.54 and Australia's S&P ASX 200 dropped 1.3 percent to 5,641.10.
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