Concerns About OPEC and Domestic Production Force Lower Settlements on Monday

West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures tumbled for a sixth consecutive session on Monday as lingering worries about rising domestic production outweighed optimism about prospects for an extended agreement on output cuts by OPEC, according to Bloomberg MarketWatch.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light, sweet crude futures for delivery in June fell 39 cents, or 0.8%, to close at $49.23 a barrel, its lowest settlement in nearly four weeks.

June Brent crude, the global benchmark, fell 36 cents, or 0.7%, to settle at $51.60 a barrel on London’s ICE futures Exchange.

“I think the mood or perception that we’re going to have this oil glut continue makes the market look weak,” said Phil Flynn, senior market analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago.

“In the second half of the year we will see strong production growth from the U.S., making the job of OPEC more difficult,” said Giovanni Staunovo, analyst at UBS. OPEC next meets in May.

Crude oil traders will continue to closely monitor OPEC. To date, the cartel has reached a tentative agreement to sideline its production beyond June, but there is no consensus for how long and which countries are committed to the extension.

Back on the New York Mercantile Exchange, May natural gas futures lost 3.5 cents, or 1.1%, to close at $3.066 per million British thermal units.

 

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