Oil prices drop as broad market sell-off outweighs supply concerns

Oil pump jacks are seen next to a strawberry field in Oxnard

Oil pump jacks are seen next to a strawberry field in Oxnard California

Unless these scenarios change dramatically today, WTI and Brent crude oil are likely to remain rangebound amid reports that OPEC is planning to announce the production cuts when it meets in Vienna on December.

Though it is nearly certain that the group will resort to a production cut, the exact quantum of cut will be decided only at the meeting.

Front-month Brent crude oil futures LCOc1 had yet to trade.

Oil prices are around a quarter below their recent peaks in early October, weighed down by surging supply, especially from the United States, as well as a slowdown in global trade.

Alexander Novak, Russian Energy Minister, stated that Russia, which is not an OPEC member, meant to sign a partnership agreement with the group.

Oil prices tumbled about 7 percent on Tuesday, with US crude plunging to its lowest level in more than a year, caught in a broader Wall Street selloff that was fed by rising concerns about slowing global economic growth.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures, were up 61 cents, or 1.1 per cent, at $57.07 per barrel.

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Weekly exchange data shows money managers hold a combined net long position equivalent to around 364 million barrels of USA and Brent crude futures and options, down from over 800 million barrels two months ago. The contract lost $3.73 last week.

Oil shot back up following six weeks of losses as speculation of OPEC weighing bigger output cuts overshadowed signs of expanding American crude production.

Brent crude dropped $4, or 6 percent, to $62.79 a barrel by 1:10 p.m. ET.

"Investors now have their focus on the potential production cuts discussed by OPEC and its allies, with Russian Federation talking of $70 level", said Hong Sungki, a Seoul-based commodities trader at NH Investment & Securities Co. Total volume traded Tuesday was 73% above the 100-day average.

Meanwhile, drillers in the USA added two more working rigs last week, bringing the total to 888, the highest level since March 2015, according to Baker Hughes data.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, led by Saudi Arabia, is pushing for the group and its partners to reduce output by 1 million to 1.4 million barrels per day to prevent a build-up of unused fuel. USA crude production has been rising, hitting a record in the week ended November 9, according to government data.

Oil markets have been concerned about potential supply disruptions amid heightened tensions between the United States and Saudi Arabia over the killing. "So far the daily lows from Friday and Thursday of last week have been violated and today's price action is now testing last Wednesday's low of $55.38 per barrel, on the way to testing last Tuesday's bottom of $55.11 per barrel", he said earlier in the day, when prices were lower.

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