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Nov 8, 2018

WTI crude settles in bear market after 9th straight daily loss

Oil Extends Declines on the Way to a Nine-Day Losing Streak

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Oil in New York fell into a bear market, adding pressure on OPEC and its allies to cut production just months after adding barrels.

Futures tumbled 1.6 per cent Thursday, extending a decline from the October high to more than 20 per cent, meeting the common definition of a bear market. A faster-than-expected inventory buildup dashed speculators’ hopes that prices could reach US$100. U.S. crude production has accelerated to new records, OPEC output is at the highest in years and waivers will allow some Iranian crude to flow to the market despite U.S. sanctions.

“Sentiment has shifted,” said Bart Melek, head of global commodity strategy at TD Securities in Toronto. “OPEC has put on more crude than we thought and second of all, these waivers are becoming an impediment to price support.”

Oil’s slide from a four-year high has been fueled by concerns that faltering emerging market economies and a U.S.-China trade war will damp fuel demand as supply grows from multiple directions. Over the past few months, OPEC has ratcheted up production amid calls from U.S. President Donald Trump to offset declines in Iranian shipments. In October, OPEC’s crude production hit the highest since 2016 and Russia hiked its output to a record of almost 11.41 million barrels a day.

With oversupply looming, production cuts might be on the horizon once again. Delegates say OPEC ministers and allies will meet Sunday in Abu Dhabi to discuss scenarios including the option to trim production again next year.

West Texas Intermediate crude futures for December delivery dropped US$1 to settle at US$60.67 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the lowest level since March. Futures fell for a ninth straight day, the longest streak of losses since 2014. WTI settled at US$76.41 a barrel on Oct. 3.

Technical indicators signal a rebound may come soon, with the 14-day relative strength index below 30, a level signaling the market is oversold.