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Oil falls one percent, U.S. crude on longest losing streak since 1984

Reuters  |  NEW YORK 

By Devika Krishna Kumar

NEW YORK (Reuters) - prices fell nearly 1 percent on Friday as global supply increased and investors worried demand growth could slow, pressuring U.S. crude to its longest stretch of daily declines since 1984.

Crude futures benchmarks have slid about 20 percent or more since peaking in early October.

"What a difference a month makes," said Michael Tran, at

"Market sentiment has shifted from the most bullish tone in years with many calling for $only weeks ago, to the weakest investor sentiment since the 2016 price trough."

futures fell 47 cents, or 0.7 percent, to settle at $70.18 a barrel. During the session Brent fell below $70 a barrel for the first time since April, as much as 20 percent off four-year highs reached in October.

Brent slumped about 3.6 percent for the week and more than 15 percent this quarter.

U.S. crude fell for the 10th straight day, the longest such streak since July 1984, according to Refinitiv data.

U.S. Intermediate crude futures declined 48 cents, or 0.8 percent, to settle at $60.19 a barrel. The session low was an eight-month bottom at $59.26, down more than 22 percent from its October peak. That decline puts U.S. crude in "bear market" territory using a stock market definition.

Hedge funds cut bullish wagers on U.S. crude in the latest week to the lowest level in more than a year, data showed, while speculators slashed bullish bets on to the lowest since July 2017. [CFTC/]

Demand worries followed forecasts for slower economic growth in 2019, largely due to a U.S.-trade war. [IEA/M]

On Friday, Chinese data showed inflation fell in October for the fourth straight month on cooling domestic demand and The report sent global stocks into a tailspin. [MKTS/GLOB]

peaked in early October on the view that U.S. sanctions on that came into force this week would drain global crude inventories and bring shortages in some regions.

But other big producers have more than compensated for lost Iranian barrels. The United States, and are pumping at or near record highs, producing more than 33 million barrels per day (bpd), a third of the world's

U.S. added for a fourth week in the last five, bringing the total count to 886, the highest since March 2015, data showed on Friday.

Also, U.S. sanctions on are unlikely to cut supply as much as expected. has granted exemptions to Iran's biggest buyers.

A South Korean delegation including is expected to head to next week to discuss resuming after a three-month halt, sources told

National Corp said it was still taking oil from Iranian fields in which it has stakes.

Bernstein Energy now expects "Iranian exports will average 1.4 million to 1.5 million bpd" during the exemption period, about half the volume in mid-2018.

Inventories in Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point for U.S. crude futures, have risen for seven straight weeks.

"As exports continue to rise, inventories continue to build, which is putting downward pressure on oil prices," Bernstein said. "A slowdown in the global remains the key downside risk to oil."

Still, a return to by and its allies next year cannot be ruled out, two sources said this week. A ministerial committee of some OPEC members and allies meets on Sunday in

GRAPHIC: Russian, U.S. & Saudi (

(Reporting by in New York, Christopher Johnson in London and Henning Gloystein in Singapore; Editing by David Gregorio, and Susan Thomas)

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, November 10 2018. 03:06 IST