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Oil Plummets With Economic Jitters Surging Through Markets

Bloomberg
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June 11, 2020

Photo: Anatoly Menzhiliy / Shutterstock

By Hailey Waller and Alex Longley (Bloomberg) –Crude futures plunged by the most since late April a day after the Federal Reserve provided a gloomy outlook for the U.S. economy.

The slide threatens to spoil crude’s recovery from a historic drop below zero in April. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said Wednesday that the coronavirus continues to pose considerable risks to the economy. Oil’s rebound had been driven by production cuts by OPEC and its allies, and the easing of pandemic-related lockdowns.

Plus, oil inventories in the U.S. are at record-high levels and a true demand recovery remains shaky given the risk of a second wave of coronavirus cases in some U.S. states.

“The surprisingly bearish stats, particularly on crude, the relatively dour comments by the Fed yesterday and fears of a resurgence of the coronavirus have all added up to the price weakness today,” said Thomas Finlon, of Houston-based GF International.

Many in the oil market are too optimistic that the impacts of coronavirus will be a short-term blip, Standard Chartered analysts Emily Ashford and Paul Horsnell wrote in a report.

On the supply side, higher crude prices have pushed some producers to turn on the taps. U.S. crude stockpiles rose last week to 538.1 million barrels, according to the Energy Information Administration. That’s the highest level in data compiled by Bloomberg since 1982.

Prices

  • West Texas Intermediate for July delivery declined $3.73 to $35.87 a barrel at 12:40 p.m. in New York.
  • Brent crude for August delivery lost $3.48 to $38.25 a barrel.

–With assistance from James Thornhill and Saket Sundria.

© 2019 Bloomberg L.P

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