Oil prices today fell to their lowest levels in two and a half months, as uncertainty about the development of demand outweighed limited supplies of the raw material to the market. Brent North Sea crude fell around 18:30 CET by around three percent and fell below USD 83 per barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil was also down about three percent, nearing $78 a barrel.
Mixed data on China’s economic development added to the uncertainty surrounding the outlook for oil demand today. A report from China’s customs showed that imports into China unexpectedly rose in October, while exports fell faster than expected. “The data suggest a continued decline in China’s economic outlook, driven by deteriorating demand in its biggest export destination, the West,” said analyst Fiona Cincotta from City Index.
Saudi Arabia confirmed on Sunday that it will continue with an additional voluntary output cut of one million barrels per day in December. The country’s production should thus continue to hover around nine million barrels per day, a source from the Ministry of Energy said. Russia has also announced that it will continue to voluntarily reduce exports of oil and oil products by 300,000 barrels per day until the end of December.
The oil market’s attention is also focused on the conflict between the Palestinian movement Hamas and Israel. “Traders will continue to watch for signs of a nascent wider conflict (in the Middle East) that could disrupt oil supplies. However, these concerns appear to be easing,said OANDA analyst Craig Erlam.I believe traders are becoming increasingly concerned about the prospect of weaker demand next year due to the lingering negative effects of high interest rates,” he added.
WTI oil price development (1-hour chart – H1):
Brent oil price development (1-hour chart – H1):
Source: Reuters, ČTK, OPEC, MT4, City Index, OANDA
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