Oil prices slide on concerns of sharp economic slowdown

March 25, 2019

By Henning Gloystein

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Oil prices kicked off the week’s trading with losses as concerns of a sharp economic slowdown outweighed supply disruptions from OPEC’s production cutbacks and U.S. sanctions on Iran and Venezuela.

Brent crude oil futures were at $66.79 per barrel at 0022 GMT, down 29 cents, or 0.4 percent, from their last close.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures were at $58.68 per barrel, down 37 cents, or 0.6 percent, from their last settlement.

“Inflation expectations have risen,” said U.S. bank Morgan Stanley.

“Estimates for growth and earnings have been revised down materially across all major regions.”

ANZ bank said the darkening economic outlook “overshadowed the supply-side issues” the oil market was facing amid supply cuts led by producer club OPEC as well as the U.S. sanctions on Venezuela and Iran.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-affiliated allies such as Russia, together referred to as ‘OPEC+’, have pledged to withhold around 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) of oil supply this year to prop up markets, with OPEC’s de-facto leader seen to be pushing for a crude prices of over $70 per barrel.

GRAPHIC: Russia, Saudi & Rest of OPEC crude oil production: https://tmsnrt.rs/2CHr9lJ

(Reporting by Henning Gloystein; Editing by Joseph Radford)

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