Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Oil prices inch lower ahead of OPEC+ talks on supply cut

Oil prices inch lower ahead of OPEC+ talks on supply cut
October 5, 2022 Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil prices moderated very slightly on Wednesday after gaining more than 3% in the previous session ahead of a meeting of OPEC+ producers to discuss a big cut in crude output.

Traders said a stronger dollar was the main reason for the slightly easier prices, as it reduced demand from buyers using other currencies.

Brent crude fell 22 cents, or 0.2%, to $91.58 a barrel at 0427 GMT, after climbing $2.94 in the previous session.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell 29 cents, or 0.3%, to $86.23 a barrel after gaining $2.89 in the previous session.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies led by Russia, together called OPEC+, will be meeting in Vienna later on Wednesday, to discuss output cuts of up to 2 million barrels per day (bpd), an OPEC source told Reuters.

A cut of that magnitude would be the biggest made by OPEC+ since demand was hit by COVID-19 in 2020.

"I will not be surprised if “buy the rumour, sell the fact” could happen since the strong rally in the crude prices may have priced in such a production cut," Tina Teng, an analyst at CMC Markets, said.

The United States is pushing OPEC+ producers to avoid making deep cuts, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters, as President Joe Biden looks to prevent a rise in US gasoline prices. 

The real impact on supply from a lower output target would be limited as several OPEC+ countries are already pumping well below their existing quotas. In August, OPEC+ missed its production target by 3.58 million bpd.

However an agreement on big cuts "would send a strong message that the group is determined to support the market," ANZ Research analysts said in a note, adding that it "would significantly tighten the market."

US crude oil stocks fell by about 1.8 million barrels for the week ended Sept. 30, according to market sources citing American Petroleum Institute figures on Tuesday.