Oil prices poised for second monthly decline

Oil prices poised for second monthly decline

Global oil prices moved in and out of negative territory on Friday but remained on course for a second monthly fall as rising COVID-19 cases in Europe and the United States heighten concerns over fuel consumption.

Brent crude was up 3 cents at $37.68 a barrel by 0831 GMT after touching a five-month low in the previous session. The December Brent contract expires on Friday and the January contract LCOc2 was trading broadly flat.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude rose 8 cents to $36.25 after dipping to its lowest since June on Thursday. It is on track for a 10% monthly decline while Brent heads for an 8% drop.

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Prices had swung between parity and a more than 2% decline during Friday’s session, with the market “anxious” about renewed lockdowns in Europe and the U.S. election next week, a Singapore-based oil trader said.

The U.S. dollar, measured against a basket of currencies .DXY, has also strengthened this week, making dollar-denominated oil more expensive for holders of other currencies.

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The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies including Russia, a group known as OPEC+, had planned to raise output by 2 million barrels per day (bpd) in January.

However, top producers Saudi Arabia and Russia are in favour of maintaining the group’s current output reduction of about 7.7 million bpd into next year in the face of lockdowns in Europe and rising Libyan oil output.

– REUTERS

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