Rising US production has been a major factor keeping supply and demand from balancing.
Rising US production has been a major factor keeping supply and demand from balancing.

Crude Prices Plummet

Crude Prices Plummet

Oil prices fell on Monday as a rally at the end of last week prompted investors to close positions at a higher price, against a backdrop of signs the global market is starting to rebalance.
Benchmark Brent crude futures were down 29 cents at $52.43 a barrel, after surging more than 3% in the previous session. US West Texas Intermediate crude traded at $48.39 a barrel, down 12 cents. The contract had also risen 3% in the previous session, CNBC reported.
"We are currently seeing some profit-taking after Friday's strong rally ahead of this week's inventory data," said Hans van Cleef, senior energy economist at ABN Amro.
"Fresh uncertainty about inventories and OPEC compliance with agreed production cuts could be enough reason to sell some of the long positions."
US hedge funds and money managers have already started lowering their bets on rising prices.
Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed on Friday that investors had cut bullish bets on US crude for a second straight week.
The world remains awash with oil despite a deal struck by some of the world's biggest producers to rein in output. Rising US production has been a major factor keeping supply and demand from balancing.
However, there are indicators that US output may soon slow, as energy firms cut rigs drilling for new oil for a second week in three, energy services firm Baker Hughes reported on Friday. Drillers slashed five rigs in the week to Aug. 18, decreasing the count to 763.
"The rig count suffered its biggest fall since January, adding to signs that the market is tightening," ANZ bank said.
Also, US commercial crude inventories have fallen almost 13% from their March peaks, to 466.5 million barrels.
Analysts said falling crude inventories, despite rising output, indicated the market was tightening.


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