Stock Market News Today
> OPEC meets at its headquarters in Vienna, Austria, with the aim of reaching an accord over production levels for the next six months.
> The 15-member organization will then hold talks with allied non-OPEC partners on Friday, with markets widely-expecting the energy alliance to announce steep output reductions from January.
> Oil prices have crashed more than 30 percent over the last two months, ratcheting up the pressure on budgets in oil-exporting countries.
OPEC and its allies are expected to agree on the terms of price-boosting output cuts on Thursday, despite pressure from President Donald Trump to reduce the cost of crude.
The influential oil cartel meets at its headquarters in Vienna, Austria, with the aim of reaching an accord over production levels for the next six months. The 15-member organization will then hold talks with allied non-OPEC partners on Friday, with markets widely-expecting the energy alliance to announce steep output reductions from January.
The much-anticipated meeting comes at a time when the oil market is near the bottom of its worst price plunge since the 2008 financial crisis. Oil prices have crashed around 30 percent over the last two months, ratcheting up the pressure on budgets in oil-exporting countries.
International benchmark Brent crude was trading at $61.28 a barrel at around 8:15 a.m. London time, down around 0.5 percent, while West Texas Intermediate (WTI) stood at $52.63, more than 0.4 percent lower.
What’s going to happen?. OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia has been leading calls for the group to trim output, amid surging supply and fears that an economic slowdown will erode fuel demand. The oil-rich kingdom has indicated it wants the group to curb output by at least 1.3 million barrels per day.
But, Russia has appeared reluctant to sign off on a reversal in production strategy. The non-OPEC heavyweight has warned the energy alliance must tread carefully this week to ensure it does not change course by 180 degrees whenever it meets.
On Thursday morning, OPEC was thought to be waiting on Russia before deciding the exact level of production cuts. Five unnamed delegates told Reuters ahead of the meeting that the group’s preferred level of supply cuts would effectively be conditional on Moscow’s contribution.
The likely outcome is OPEC and non-OPEC members agree to a supply cut of around 1.2 million to 1.4 million barrels per day. As always though, the hard part for the energy alliance is not figuring out a number, but rather how the group divvies up the cuts.
OPEC began managing crude supply in partnership with Russia and several other nations last year in order to end a punishing downturn in oil prices.
The Middle East-dominated group produces around 40 percent of the world’s oil and has a long history of adjusting production to guide the energy market. The energy alliance’s policy of capping output has drawn particular ire from Trump.
Donald J. Trump. Hopefully OPEC will be keeping oil flows as is, not restricted. The World does not want to see, or need, higher oil prices!. The U.S. president is publicly in favor of low fuel prices and has urged Saudi Arabia to drive crude futures even lower at OPEC’s final meeting of the calendar year.