Trump’s Jerusalem gamble spikes oil prices
After sinking for much of the week, oil prices recovered slightly on Thursday and Friday. Analysts attributed the rise to tensions in the Middle East after the Trump administration announced the U.S. would move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, a move that was met with widespread protest in the region. Data from China showed strong crude import data for November – imports jumped above 9 million barrels per day, up from 7.3 mb/d a month earlier.
Meanwhile, Saudi oil minister Khalid al-Falih seemed to pull off an unexpected victory with the inclusion of Libya and Nigeria into the OPEC agreement – the two countries agreed to cap their output at 2017 levels – but their participation actually means very little for the oil market, consultants from Wood Mackenzie and Eurasia Group told Bloomberg. “The OPEC quota doesn’t matter,” Riccardo Fabiani, an analyst at Eurasia Group, said of Libya’s participation. “Moving beyond 1 million barrels a day in 2018 is going to be very difficult anyway.”