Crude mood: Oil enters bear market, plunging most since 2015

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The latest drop in price comes after US President Donald Trump tweeted on Monday that he hoped there would be no oil output reductions, after Saudi Arabia said on Sunday that Opec was considering cutting supply next year.

Brent crude fell by 4.2 per cent to $67.15, touching its lowest since March.

Anxious by a drop in oil prices and rising supplies, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is talking again of reducing production just months after increasing it.

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The comments from the minister, Khalid al-Falih, show the balancing act the USA allies face in dealing with President Donald Trump's actions related to the oil industry. Brent crude is trading below $70 per barrel, down from a four-year high above $86 per barrel in early October.

During its last meeting, the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies led by Russian Federation acknowledged that an oversupply of oil in the market is imminent in 2019.

"It's like a run on the bank", said Phil Flynn, analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago.

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Trump on Monday said he hoped OPEC will not cut production, making it clear he wants oil prices to fall.

The slump in spot prices has turned the entire forward curve for crude oil upside down.

Oil markets are being pressured from two sides: a surge in supply and increasing concerns about an economic slowdown. A slump in USA equity markets and the dollar's climb to an 18-month high also weighed on crude, which slid into a bear market last week. The IEA estimates total U.S. oil supply will rise by 2.1 million bpd this year and another 1.3 million bpd in 2019, from a current record of more than 11 million bpd. Yawger noted that the potential pullback in Saudi output has in part already been made up by the sharp bump in USA production, which reached 11.6 million bpd in the most recent week, a new record.

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In its report released yesterday, OPEC stated: "In 2018, oil demand growth is anticipated to increase by 1.50 mb/d y-o-y, a downward revision from the previous month of 40 tb/d, mainly due to weaker-than-expected oil demand data from the Middle East and, to a lesser extent, China during 3Q18". There's a risk the world is becoming too reliant on the rapid growth of USA shale oil, according to the International Energy Agency's latest World Energy Outlook. The strength in the greenback - which reduces the appeal of commodities priced in the US currency - may persist if the Federal Reserve raises interest rates again next month as expected, Mizuho's Tsugata said.

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