Oil prices drop due to global economic slowdown concerns

8 February 2019 (Last Updated February 8th, 2019 09:52)

Oil prices have slipped due to global economic slowdown concerns, although they gained some support from supply cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and due to US sanctions against Venezuela.

Oil prices drop due to global economic slowdown concerns
Touchstone Exploration will consider using how to use both wells in its onshore reserve. Credit: How I See Life.

Oil prices have slipped due to global economic slowdown concerns, although they gained some support from supply cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and due to US sanctions against Venezuela.

International Brent crude oil futures reduced by 0.7% at $61.22 per barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures declined 40 cents and stood at $52.24 a barrel, Reuters reported.

Concerns that US-Sino trade war would remain unresolved weighed on financial markets, including crude oil futures.

The world’s two biggest economies US and China plan to sign a trade agreement and have set 1 March as the deadline, but US President Donald Trump said that he did not plan to meet with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping before the crucial deadline.

“Concerns that US-Sino trade war would remain unresolved weighed on financial markets, including crude oil futures.”

Trump has threatened to increase US tariffs on Chinese imports in the event they fail to reach an agreement.

Another round of discussions is expected to take place in Beijing next week.

In its latest economic forecast, the European Commission said Euro-Area gross domestic product (GDP) growth would slow to 1.3% this year in comparison with 1.9% last year.

The Commission said that the growth is set to rebound to 1.6% next year.

Despite this forecast, traders said prices of crude oil were prevented from declining much further by OPEC-led supply cuts which were implemented late last year to tighten supplies and increase prices.

OPEC sources said that Saudi Arabia cut its output by 400,000 barrels a day (bpd) to 10.24Mbpd last month.

Analysts expect that sanctions imposed by the US against Venezuela will negate 300,000bpd-500,000bpd of exports.