Brent Prices Slide Further Ahead Of U.S. Inventory Data
Brent crude oil slid on Tuesday as the global supply glut appeared to grow and the global economy continued on an uncertain path.
The commodity traded at $85.24 at 7:10 GMT as investors waited for inventory data out of the U.S. as well as the beginning of the Federal Reserve’s policy meeting.
Oil prices have been on the decline recently as supply throughout the world picked up without any increase in demand. The shale boom in the U.S. has been a major contributor to falling crude prices as the nation’s demand for outside sources weakens.
Later on Tuesday, the American Petroleum Institute is set to release a report detailing U.S. inventories, followed by the U.S. Department of Energy’s version of the same report on Wednesday.
A Reuters survey showed that analysts believe that American crude stocks rose by 3.5 million barrels last week, while distillate and gasoline inventories probably declined.
With prices far below the $100 mark that most OPEC members need to balance their budgets, the cartel’s meeting in November remains a big question mark for crude prices.
Many of the group’s members are calling for supply cuts in order to boost prices, but others like Saudi Arabia and Iran have said they are comfortable with the current price level and are willing to accept prices below $90 for an extended period in order to gain market share.
The looming Fed meeting is also weighing on prices as investors keep a close eye on the U.S. central bank for any indication that it is planning to raise interest rates sooner than expected.
The bank will probably finish tapering its asset purchase program at its two-day meeting, which begins on Tuesday. However, most expect that the Fed will reassure investors that interest rates will remain low for an extended period in order to avoid a sharp turn in the markets.
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