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Saudi Arabia surprised markets on Tuesday by announcing voluntary oil output cuts of 1 million barrels per day (bpd) in February and March. 

According to Goldman Sachs, the move reflects expectations for demand weakness in the wake of new coronavirus lockdown restrictions around the world. 

The most likely reason is the kingdom expects a big slowdown in global energy consumption, including in Asia where infections are rising quickly, Goldman analysts including Damien Courvalin and Jeff Currie said in a note dated Jan. 5.

The investment bank, however, has maintained its year-end Brent oil price forecast of $65 per barrel, according to Bloomberg.