Crude oil prices dip by 2% as Libya, others say No to production cut
Hope of a possible rise in oil price has been deflated with some oil-producing nations reneging on earlier expectation of cutting production ahead of their meeting this week. Libya has vehemently refused to any cut pumping fears of more glut and further dip in prices.
Nigeria which has largely depended on crude oil earnings over the years has been hard hit by the slump in oil prices. Minister of Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, who has vigorously engaged in oil diplomacy in recent months must be disappointed by the current turn of events as he had hoped for a general cut in production from nations.
Nigeria has had a fortuitous cut in production on account of the operations of militants in the Niger Delta region who have consistently blown up oil facilities in the demand for equity and fairness.
The dollar and U.S. bond yields fell on Monday as investors reversed a “Trumpflation” trade that has gripped markets since the U.S. elections, after oil prices slid on fears that producer countries meeting this week could fail to agree an output cut.
Though Brent crude futures last traded at $47.02 per barrel LCOc1, almost flat on the day, prices had been down by as much as 2.0 percent in early Asian trade, following on from a 3.6 percent fall on Friday as doubts arose over whether the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries would reach a deal later this week.
Prospects of reduced upward pressure on inflation from oil prices, prompted investors to temper expectations for rises in U.S. interest rates, bring down treasury yields and the dollar.
That gave some relief to Asian shares, which had underperformed on worries about capital flight to higher-yielding U.S markets in the weeks since Donald Trump’s Nov.8 election win.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS rose 0.6 percent, led by gains in Hong Kong .HSI and Taiwan .TWII.
In contrast, U.S. stock futures ESc1 slipped 0.2 percent after their stellar performance this month on hopes President-elect Trump’s policy of fiscal spending, deregulation and protection of domestic industries will boost U.S. inflation and benefit Corporate America.
Japan’s Nikkei average .N225, which had performed even better than Wall Street thanks to the yen’s fall, also lost its lustre, falling 0.3 percent.
“It will be scary to think markets may fully reverse their moves since the elections, changing their mind that Trump’s policy may not be so good after all,” said Bart Wakabayashi, head of Hong Kong FX sales at State Street Global Markets.
Wall Street’s four main indexes .DJI .SPX .IXIC all hit record highs last week, a feat last achieved in 1999.
Yet some investors question whether the market may have got carried away with optimism on Trump’s policy, given the uncertainty on the political neophyte’s presidency, including on how closely he can work together with the Congress.
But it was doubts about inflationary expectations, due to languishing oil prices that gave investors a more immediate reason to have second thoughts.
Saudi Arabia said on Friday it will not attend talks on Monday with non-OPEC producers to discuss supply cuts.
“Oil prices have fallen considerably on worries about the deal. That would pressure energy shares, and could hit the entire stock markets. Given their rally in recent days, it’s no surprise to see some adjustment,” said Masahiro Ichikawa, senior strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management.
Saudi Arabia’s energy minister Khalid al-Falih said on Sunday that he believed the oil market would balance itself in 2017 even if producers did not intervene, and that keeping output at current levels could therefore be justified.
- Additional reports from REUTERS