Economy

Oil prices plunge as U.S. stock markets slide

Oil prices plunge as U.S. stock markets slide

US crude futures have hit the lowest level since June 22, 2017, as jitters have grown about the impact of the escalating US-China trade dispute on global growth and crude demand.

The U.S. Senate has been unable to break an impasse over U.S. President Donald Trump's demand for more funds for a wall on the border with Mexico, and a senior official said the shutdown could continue until January 3.

However, OPEC's most recent statements have suggested oil prices might be in for a major rebound early next year.

OPEC is trying to clear the oil markets of extra oil inventories and over-production.

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In addition, The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) data showed Thursday that crude oil production in the country rose by 7,000 barrels per day (bpd) last week, to around 11.6 million bpd for the week ending December 14, according to the EIA.

At a press briefing in Kuwait, Iraqi, the U.A.E. and Algerian energy ministers took turns repeating the message that OPEC will deliver its 800,000 barrels per day cut and continue their cooperation with other producers to balance supply and demand. Investors are skeptical the reductions will be sufficient to dent supplies, with U.S. crude output still above 11 million barrels a day.

Oil prices were mixed in thin trading on Wednesday as the US benchmark rebounded from steep losses in the previous session, even though concern over the health of the global economy continued to overshadow the market in the longer term. The S&P 500 Index sank 1.8 percent, with its energy index shedding 3.2%.

Only within last week has he lost more than 10 percent of its value.

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"The main input over the weekend has been the continued intervention by OPEC members", said Olivier Jakob, managing director at Petromatrix GmbH. Data showed that imports were only 33,558 barrels in November, down 88 percent from a year earlier. "For now, those statements are ignored by the market because we are in this bearish cycle". Total volume traded Monday was about 42% below the 100-day average ahead of the Christmas holiday Tuesday.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 15 cents, or 0.33 percent, at $45.74 a barrel.

Brent for February settlement dipped $1.36 to $52.46/bbl on London's ICE Futures Europe exchange.

Mazrouei said a joint OPEC and non-OPEC monitoring committee would meet in Baku, Azerbaijan in late February or early March.

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Ghadhban said he believes that the new measures taken by producers will "stop the slide in oil prices".