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  • Oil prices under pressure despite hopes of the covid vaccine.
  • Oil ministers give opposition to increasing oil output from February.
  • US stocks plummet in anticipation of the Senate runoffs. 

WTI is trading at $47.71 between a range of $47.28 and $49.80 bbls, losing 0.84% at the time of writing.

The price of a barrel of oil dropped from multi-month highs in volatile trade to start the year.

It has been a volatile start to the week, as expected warned in the following weekly forecast for the S&P 500:

S&P 500 Weekly Forecast: Out with the old 2020 vol, in with the new 2021 vol

On Monday, US stocks fell sharply over the concerns of the outcome of runoff elections in Georgia and the US president’s Donald Trump’s leaked audio of an hour-long phone call between Trump and Georgia’s secretary of state.

The incumbent president was recorded begging the official to overturn his state’s election results, which showed Biden winning by just under 12,000 votes.

There is a great deal at stake because should the Democrats win both seats, the benchmarks could come under severe pressure.  

Meanwhile, specifically for oil, the market declined despite the expectations that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies will hold off on increasing output in February.

OPEC members: Not the time to be raising production 

OPEC and allies, a group known as OPEC+, were meeting today to voice their oppositions to increasing oil output from February when they met on Sunday, according to three OPEC+ sources that told Reuters.

OPEC+ increased output by 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) this month.

However, some of the members have questioned the need to increase more from February due to an upsurge in the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kuwait’s oil minister said he expected gradual recovery in oil demand, particularly in the second half of 2021, as many countries start to distribute coronavirus vaccines.

In other geopolitical news, tensions in the Middle East could help to buoy prices.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards has seized a South Korean-flagged tanker, holding the crew hostage and accusing it of polluting the Gulf with chemicals.  

”The nation is challenging the US Administration’s resolve to police its sanctions, as observed flows from the nation rise to their highest since March and pledges to produce 20% enriched uranium,” analysts at TD Securities said about the matter.

”More broadly, we continue to expect a “Great Rebalancing” to rebalance the oil glut by year-end, but a significant amount of OPEC spare capacity will provide an offset to demand growth which should keep the rally in energy markets from breaking away,” the analysts added.

WTI levels