Crude’s slump from its early-October peak above $76 a barrel comes as U.S. production is at a record, OPEC output is at the highest since 2016, more Iranian crude might make it to market then previously thought and demand growth remains a concern.
WTI futures fell 4.7 per cent this week. Total volume traded was about 44 per cent above the 100-day average on Friday, while a measure of oil market volatility jumped to the highest level since late 2016.
Brent futures for January settlement fell 47 cents to end the session at $70.18 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange, the lowest since April 9. The global benchmark crude traded at a $9.82 premium to January WTI.
A potential agreement by OPEC to return to output cuts would mark the second production U-turn for the group this year. For Saudi Arabia -- the world’s biggest crude exporter -- it would be the third time in recent years that the kingdom has delivered a supply surge only to quickly backtrack on it.