Oil Price Slip on Supply Balance Forecast

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Oil prices fell on Friday in Asia after a 3 percent jump in the previous session on suggestions that global supplies could balance by the middle of next year.

oil pumps and gas pumps lined up

Crude Oil WTI Futures for January delivery declined 0.4 percent to $52.40 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

London’s Intercontinental Exchange showed that Brent Oil Futures for February delivery slipped 0.6 percent to $61.09 per barrel.

The International Energy Agency, which represents the interest of energy consumers in the West, gave bullish oil traders some hope by forecasting a supply deficit in the second quarter of the next year, versus a month ago when it said  that it expected a surplus for all of 2019.

The forecast came after the OPEC said earlier this week that 2019 demand for its crude would fall to 31.44 million barrels per day, 100,000 barrels per day less than predicted last month and 1.53 million less than it currently produces.

OPEC and its allies reached an agreement last week to slash oil production by more than the market had expected.

Meanwhile, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported on Thursday that US crude inventories slipped by 1.2 million barrels in the week to December 7. On the other hand, the decline was less than expected, as markets previously forecasted a decrease of 3 million barrels.

Elsewhere, Oman is decreasing oil output by 2 percent from January for an initial period of six months, according to a letter sent to customers of the Omani oil by the country’s oil and gas ministry.

The output reduction is in implementation of an agreement by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and non-OPEC crude exporters to reduce global supply, the letter said. Oman is not a member of the OPEC.

OPEC and its Russia-led allies agreed last week to cut oil production by more than the market had expected in spite of the pressure from US President Donald Trump to reduce the price of crude.

Meanwhile, gold prices crept lower for the second consecutive session on Friday and weakened farther below $1240 level, hitting fresh weekly lows in the last hour.

The commodity extended this week’s retracement slide from five-month tops and traded with a negative bias for the fourth session the previous five, erasing a part of last week’s goodish upside.

OPEC on scrabble pieces

A decent pickup in the US dollar demand, which appears to have offset a combination of supporting factors, turned out to be one of the biggest factors in exerting some fresh downward pressure around the dollar-denominated commodity.

Meanwhile, a renewed wave of global risk-aversion trade, as depicted by fresh selling around equity markets and triggered bv disappointing macro data from the world’s second-largest economy, failed to boost the precious metal’s safe-haven demand.

Even uncertainty over the Fed’s rate hike path in 2019, reinforced by the recent slide in the US Treasury bond yields, which tends to support demand for the non-yielding yellow metal, also did little to lend any support and stall the ongoing slide.