Crude oil prices ended W/W on a bearish note. The slide is significantly attributed to the soft demand in gasoline, as COVID-19 restrictions in certain emerged markets began to take its toll on crude oil demand.
- New York-traded West Texas Intermediate futures settled at $39.85 per barrel. For the week, West Texas Intermediate dropped 2.5%.
- Not forgetting the British traded oil contract, Brent crude settled at $41.77.
- Both oil contracts suffered heavy losses as reports from U.S oil rig count gained up to 211 from last week’s level of 205.
- Oil rigs, indicators of future production have steadily climbed since the week ended Sept 4, when they stood at 180.
Adding to the weight on the market were estimates that Libyan oil output, mostly offline since January, had risen to 500,000 barrels per day and will likely grow further by October end.
In an explanatory note to Nairametrics, Stephen Innes, Chief Global Market Strategist at Axi, gave key insights on moves made by OPEC+ to keep pricing in check, as the virus negatively affects the fragile energy market.
“One would have to assume OPEC+ decision will depend on the price/curve shape outcome for November. Traders remain unwavering that OPEC will continue to defend the downside for oil prices via a more calibrated monthly market evaluation and inventory management approach.
“OPEC hopes to tighten near-term balances push spot prices higher than ‘forward prices’, the elusive backwardation, encouraging inventory draws.
“My view is until this unambiguously occurs, OPEC will cover the markets back. Positively for OPEC compliance concerns, all the push pump-happy members appear to follow the compensation principles.”
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What to expect
In the days ahead, crude oil prices are expected to be range-bound, as oil traders are now focusing on the most important election coming up in the world’s largest economy in about two weeks’ time. That said, crude oil prices will continue to be influenced by the outcome of the newly registered COVID-19 vaccine.