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Oil Prices Extend Losses to Worst Monthly Selloff in 10 Years

Commodities Nov 30, 2018 10:45AM ET
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Investing.com - Oil prices tumbled again on Friday, turning negative for the week and chalking up their worst monthly decline since 2008 as Russia seemed to seesaw again by giving another sign that output reductions were not a priority.

New York-traded West Texas Intermediate crude futures fell 98 cents, or 1.90%, at $50.47 a barrel by 10:43 AM ET (15:43 GMT).

Meanwhile, Brent crude futures, the benchmark for oil prices outside the U.S., traded down $1.11, or 1.85%, to $58.80.

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said in an interview with TASS agency published on Friday that producers and consumers were comfortable with current prices, suggesting little need for production cuts to go ahead when OPEC and other major producers meet on Dec. 6 and 7.

But Novak did suggest that an agreement would be made for output in 2019, although Moscow planned to maintain October-levels of production until year end.

Amid growing concerns of an emerging supply glut, Russia has whipsawed prices this week. President Vladmir Putin said Wednesday that $60 per barrel was “absolutely fine” and that his country could balance its budget with prices as low as $40.

A report on Thursday cited Russian industry sources saying they understood the need for an output reduction, which sent prices surging.

Friday’s losses have erased weekly gains and U.S. crude is off 23% this month and 35% since the four-year high registered just last Oct. 3 as record levels of production by both the U.S. and Saudi Arabia heightened worries of oversupply.

Investors will set their sights on a meeting planned between Putin and Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman on the sidelines of this weekend’s G20 summit to see if further clarification on Moscow’s plans emerge.

Concerns of oversupply will remain in the spotlight Friday as investors keep an eye on a measure of future output stateside with Baker Hughes’ weekly data out at 1:00 PM (18:00 GMT) Friday.

Although, the U.S. rig count dropped by 3 to 885 last week, it remains close to its highest level since March 2015.

In other energy trading, gasoline futures lost 1.40% to $1.4051 a gallon by 10:44 AM ET (15:44 GMT), while heating oil slumped 2.11% to $1.8005 a gallon.

Lastly, natural gas futures traded down 1.92% to $4.557 per million British thermal units.

Oil Prices Extend Losses to Worst Monthly Selloff in 10 Years
 

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