However, doubts over the impact of planned production cuts led by OPEC to rebalance the oil market, and reports about higher inventory builds and forecasts of record shale output in the us weighed on crude oil. Funds took big bets on oil's rally, only to see the commodity drop by more than 40 percent since highs reached in October.
Physical prices for Brent have also fallen in the last six weeks, driven by a drop in demand from Chinese refiners in particular, which has weighed on the value of barrels of anything from the North Sea to Nigerian crude. Today at 09:35 AM ET, the global benchmark had recovered slightly, rising 1.34 percent to US$51.45 a barrel, after shedding as much as 6.2 percent in the previous trading session to close at US$50.47 a barrel, Reuters reports. Asian stock markets retreated again on Wednesday. They explain that the US-China trade dispute and the prospect of a rapid rise in US interest rates have brought global stocks down from this year's record highs.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its Russia-led allies agreed this month to slash oil production by more than the market had expected. "For now, those statements are ignored by the market because we are in this bearish cycle". One of the reasons for this oil price plunge is excessive supply from US.
In post-settlement trading, crude benchmarks extended gains. The contract slumped $3.06 to $42.53 on Monday.
US rough CLc1 was up 74 pennies at $43.27.
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Oil prices have been steadily on the decline and are off by over 40% since the October highs, despite an agreement earlier in December between the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies like Russian Federation to cut a combined 1.2 million barrels per day from the market in 2019, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Trade was thin due to the Christmas holidays. Total volume traded was about 68 percent above the 100-day average.
"The plan (to cut oil production) is well studied but if it does not work, we always have the power in OPEC to call for an extraordinary meeting", he added. U.S. equity futures rose as investors searched for any evidence of a let-up in a rout after U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday expressed confidence in the Treasury secretary, Federal Reserve and the U.S. economy.
In wider financial markets, investors were still anxious as the S&P 500 Index of equities stands just 7 points away from completing a full-blown bear market drop.