Oil Prices Drop Further After OPEC+ Delay

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Oil prices took a further plunge on Thursday following the unexpected decision by OPEC+ to postpone a crucial policy meeting, indicating renewed discord within the alliance.

Simultaneously, stock markets exhibited mixed trading patterns as two US reports tempered recent optimism regarding future interest rates. 

The primary crude contracts both experienced declines in response to the delayed OPEC+ meeting, originally scheduled for November 30. 

The decision to extend the meeting by four days reportedly stemmed from resistance by Angola and Nigeria against lower production targets, with indications that Saudi Arabia was contemplating an extension of a one-million-barrel-a-day output cut into the new year. 

“Oil prices fell after OPEC reported a delay in the weekend, a meeting which hints at a growing rift among OPEC+ producers,” noted SPI Asset Management analyst Stephen Innes. 

“With US and non-OPEC production on the rise, it should be no surprise that producers want to pump more oil, not trim production, for fear of losing even a tiny sliver of the market share. 

“And the ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war gives hope for some stability in the region.”

Stock markets in Europe and Asia experienced fluctuations, despite a recent increase on Wall Street before Thanksgiving.

Hong Kong rebounded from morning losses to show gains in the afternoon, particularly in the real estate sector, following indications that China plans to provide additional support to the property industry, urging banks to contribute more.

Bloomberg News reported on Wednesday that authorities had prepared a draft list of 50 firms eligible for increased monetary support. 

Meanwhile, Shanghai, Seoul, Wellington, Mumbai, and Jakarta saw rises, but Sydney, Singapore, Taipei, Manila, and Bangkok faced declines.

Paris and Frankfurt stocks advanced, but London incurred modest losses approaching the midway point. The subdued performances followed data revealing an uptick in inflation expectations among US consumers, projecting it at 4.5 percent for the next year, compared to the previously anticipated 4.4 percent, according to the University of Michigan.

Additionally, US jobless claims were significantly lower than forecasted, indicating a resilient labor market. 

The Federal Reserve has consistently emphasized that its decisions on interest rates are contingent on data, particularly related to inflation and employment.

Key figures around 1145 GMT –

 Brent North Sea crude: DOWN 1.0 percent at $81.11 per barrel

West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 1.0 percent at $76.34 per barrel 

London – FTSE 100: DOWN 0.1 percent at 7,462.29 points 

Paris – CAC 40: UP 0.2 percent at 7,277.67 

Frankfurt – DAX: UP 0.1 percent at 15,977.72 

EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.1 percent at 4,357.14 

Hong Kong – Hang Seng Index: UP 1.0 percent at 17,910.84 (close) 

Shanghai – Composite: UP 0.6 percent at 3,061.86 (close)

Tokyo – Nikkei 225: Closed for a holiday

New York – DOW: UP 0.5 percent at 35,273.03 (close) 

Euro/dollar: UP at $1.0920 from $1.0888 on Wednesday 

Dollar/yen: UP at 149.24 yen from 148.54 yen 

Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.2550 from $1.2594 

Euro/pound: DOWN at 87.00 pence from 87.14 pence

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