Oil's unprecedented decline deepened as investors fled a market hammered by swelling excess supplies, a darkening demand outlook and U.S. President Donald Trump's Twitter critique of the world's biggest crude exporter.
Both oil benchmarks are now trading firmly in bear market territory, having fallen more than 20 per cent from their 52-week highs.
Crude oil has lost more than 25% of its value since early October in what has become one of the biggest declines since prices collapsed in 2014.
Oil prices, which spiked in October in the run-up to the reimposition of United States sanctions on Iran's oil industry on November 5, fell after the USA granted waivers to eight countries importing Iranian crude for a 180-day period.
In the USA, crude inventories stowed at the key pipeline nexus in Cushing, Oklahoma, rose by an estimated 2.5 million barrels last week, according to a forecast compiled by Bloomberg.
"OPEC and Russian Federation are under pressure to reduce current production levels, which is a decision that we expect to be taken at the next OPEC meeting on December 6", said Andersson. "It remains to be seen whether OPEC will agree" on cuts, Tsugata said.More news: Trump lawyers could submit answers to Mueller in coming days, source says
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WTI for December delivery dropped US$4.24 to end the session at US$55.69 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Oil prices have plunged more than $20 a barrel since the start of October, when Brent crude rose to almost $87 a barrel and U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) traded around $77. The contract gained 65 cents to $66.12 on Wednesday. Total volume traded was 18 percent above the 100-day average.
The IEA left its forecast for global demand growth for 2018 and 2019 unchanged from last month at 1.3 million barrels per day (bpd) and 1.4 million bpd, respectively, but cut its forecast for non-OECD demand growth, the engine of expansion in world oil consumption.
Oil chiefs from Venezuela and Oman indicated they may side with the kingdom on the issue of output cuts.
Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said on Monday OPEC agreed there was a need to cut oil supply next year by around 1 million barrels per day (bpd) from October levels to prevent oversupply.
In wider financial markets, S&P 500 Index futures fell, while the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed after increasing 0.6 percent Monday to the highest in 18 months. We remember that the oil price was sharply rising in the same way, now it is going down.
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