Oil Set for Second Weekly Loss on Deteriorating Demand Backdrop

(Bloomberg) — Oil headed for a second weekly loss amid growing concern the global energy demand recovery has stalled, although figures showing OPEC’s crude output held steady last month eased fears of a potential glut.


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Futures in New York fell toward $38 a barrel Friday after slumping 3.7% on Thursday. The chance of any more U.S. fiscal stimulus before the November election appeared to be fading after talks yielded no immediate breakthrough. The coronavirus is resurgent in Europe and hasn’t been brought under control in big economies such as India, leading to a chorus of forecasters scaling back their estimates for when oil demand will get back to pre-virus levels.

Still, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ crude production was almost unchanged last month from August, according to a Bloomberg survey. The United Arab Emirates cut its oil output to the lowest in two years, offsetting increased Saudi Arabian exports as well as added output from Venezuela, Libya and Iran. Iraq also said it remains committed to the OPEC+ cuts, including extra curbs to compensate for previous overproduction.

graphical user interface: WTI dips below short-term average price levels

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WTI dips below short-term average price levels

Oil prices are heading for their fourth weekly loss in five amid signs demand has stabilized well below pre-virus levels as the pandemic proves stubbornly persistent. Chinese buying has flagged in recent months after a spree earlier in the year and there’s still a big overhang of inventories worldwide, while refiners are struggling with growing gluts of diesel and jet fuel.

Video: Stocks end choppy session higher on stimulus hope (Reuters)

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West Texas Intermediate for November delivery fell 0.8% to $38.40 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange as of 8:17 a.m in Singapore.The contract is down 4.6% so far this week.Brent for December settlement declined 0.9% to $40.57 on the ICE Futures Europe exchange after losing 3.2% on Thursday.

OPEC production averaged 24.43 million barrels a day in September, according to the Bloomberg survey, compared with 24.39 million in August. Output was as high as 30.44 million in April as producers opened the taps amid the price war.

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