Brent Falls Lower On Japan Data
Brent crude oil began the week on a low note after GDP data helped confirm suspicions of a global slowdown. The commodity traded at $78.19 at 8:15 GMT, following surprising reports that Japan had fallen into a recession.
Data out on Monday showed that the Japanese economy had fallen into recession in the third quarter with the nation’s GDP contracting an annualized 1.6 percent. As the world’s fourth-largest crude importer, Japan’s economic perils will likely translate into a decreased appetite for the commodity, which in turn weighed on prices.
Related Link: Euro Above $1.25 Despite Poor GDP Figures
Japan’s economic problems compounded the growing number of factors keeping crude prices exceptionally low, leaving investors to wonder how OPEC will deal with the commodity’s price slump. Earlier in the month, there was a lot of talk about accepting low prices in order to gain market share, but over the weekend Iran’s oil minister spoke out against such measures.
CNBC reported that Iranian oil minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh criticized some of the cartel’s members, saying they were making excuses to justify their reluctance to stabilize prices. Many saw his comments as a jab at Saudi Arabia, where an official recently called for OPEC countries to leave crude prices open to market forces.
On November 27, OPEC is set to hold its annual meeting, at which there will likely be a discussion about whether or not a supply cut is needed. The cartel is coping with several outside pressures weighing on prices, namely the global slow down and rising supplies.
© 2017 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.