Oil prices are down significantly today, November 19, on speculation that data to be released tomorrow will show a fourth straight weekly increase in U.S. oil inventories and nervousness about a successful conclusion to U.S.-China Part 1 trade talks.
As of 1:30 p.m. New York time U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate was down 2.89% to $55.40 a barrel and international benchmark Brent crude was off 2.39% to $60.95 a barrel.
In the background of today’s action, though, is a fear that Russia and other producers will not agree to cut output further at the December 5 and 6 OPEC meeting in Vienna. According to news reports, Russia is not inclined to favor further production cuts and isn’t certain to extend existing curbs. The later stance is most probably a bargaining ploy since int fits with Russia’s usual hardline stance ahead of most OPEC meetings.
But still even the possibility that Russia wouldn’t extend current production cuts is enough to worry a market already on edge over U.S. inventories and the U.S.-China trade talks.