10 April 2020

Crude Oil Crashes, Even as Saudi-Russia Strike Deal


What’s happening: Crude oil futures settled lower on Thursday, after a strong rally earlier in the session, even after news of a ceasefire between Saudi Arabia and Russia.

What happened: After rallying as much as 13% earlier in the session, WTI (West Texas Intermediate) crude oil dipped more than 9% on Thursday. Oil prices cooled off even with reports of the world's largest oil producers, Saudi Arabia and Russia, reaching a historic deal on production cuts.

The OPEC+ meeting met with unexpected hurdles as another country objected to product cuts.

Details: OPEC and its allies, known as OPEC+, met on Thursday to forge a deal to cut output in a bid to control an oversupplied market and lift oil prices. Saudi Arabia and Russia agreed to a historic deal to cut their production by 10 million barrels per day, as the coronavirus outbreak continues to weaken the demand for crude.

During the meeting, Mexico rejected the proposed production cuts and the meeting closed without any definitive agreement. Talks are expected to continue today, and delegates aim to convince Mexican officials to agree to the deal.

Why it matters: The OPEC released a statement with details of the proposed production cuts, but added that the deal is conditional upon Mexico’s consent. The OPEC said that production would be cut by 10 million barrels per day in May and June, followed by a reduction of 8 million barrels per day for the rest of the year. The cuts would be tapered to 6 million barrels per day from January 2021 and till April 2022.

OPEC+ had reportedly asked Mexico to lower production by 400,000 barrels per day, but Mexico’s Secretary of Energy Rocío Nahle said after the meeting that the country is prepared for a production cut of only 100,000 barrels per day for the next two months.

Crude oil tumbled on Thursday with investors fearing the cuts may not be enough to offset the worsening demand. US WTI crude dipped over 9% to settle at $22.76 per barrel on Thursday, after surging as high as $28.36 per barrel earlier in the session. Brent crude declined 4.1% to settle at $31.48 per barrel, after reaching a high of $36.40 per barrel.

Oil now trades at its lowest level in around two decades, with WTI and Brent crude declining more than 50% in March.

What to watch: Energy ministers from the G20 economies will hold a virtual meeting today to decide on production cuts. Investors will be keeping an eye on the minutes of the meeting and hope that Mexico clears the deal.

The Markets Today


Asian stocks closed mixed today, with some of the region’s major stock markets remaining closed for Good Friday.

Context: Stocks in the Asian region traded mixed following the release of some economic reports from the region. Shares in Mainland China closed lower, while stocks in Japan settled higher today.

Details: Beijing has announced various fiscal and monetary measures to support economic growth, and sources are suggesting additional stimulus to stabilize the economy. The country also reported a decline in new coronavirus cases on Friday.

Economic data released today saw a rise in Chinese consumer inflation for March. The country’s consumer price index rose 4.3% in March, missing expectations of a 4.8% rise. China’s producer prices dropped 1.5% last month, versus a 0.4% decline in February. The country’s food prices jumped 18.3% in March, compared to a 21.9% gain in February.

The Shanghai composite declined 1.04% to 2,796.63, while the Shenzhen composite fell 1.95% to settle at 1,721.22.

Producer prices in Japan dropped 0.4% in March, after a 0.8% increase in the earlier month. Japan’s Nikkei 225 gained 0.79% to end at 19,498.50, while the Topix index closed lower by 0.92% at 1,430.04.

South Korea’s Kospi index gained 1.33% on Friday. Shares of Samsung Biologics jumped 16% after the company signed a deal with Vir Biotechnology to manufacture SARS-COV-2 antibodies for a potential treatment of Covid-19.

Markets in India, Australia, Singapore and Hong Kong were shut for the Good Friday holiday.

What to watch: China expects to get back on track with a decline in coronavirus numbers and reopening most of its markets. Investors hope for news of the smooth functioning of the economy, as China is not only a major consumer, but also the world’s manufacturing hub.

Support & Resistances
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News shaping
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What else to watch today


Turkey’s current account, industrial production and retail sales, India’s deposit growth and foreign exchange reserves, Russia’s foreign exchange reserves, current account and balance of trade as well as the US inflation rate and government budget.


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