By Barani Krishnan
Investing.com – A spate of bearish triggers on Yemen, Iran and Chinese equities downed any hopes of a rebound in oil on Friday, setting up for its biggest weekly decline in more than two months.
It was a remarkable reversal for a market that only last Friday had its biggest weekly gain since mid-June.
settled down 50 cents, or 0.9%, at $55.91 per barrel.
settled down 83 cents, or 1.3%, at $61.91
For the week, WTI was down 3.8%, its most since the week to July 14. lost 3.7% on the week, its sharpest weekly drop since the week ended Aug 4.
The market flipped earlier in the week after Saudi Arabia announced its oil production was back up and fully running from the Sept. 14 attack on its energy infrastructure, much faster than expected. What’s more, Riyadh also said it had an output capacity of more than 11 million barrels per day now, higher than before the attack.
Oil bears tightened their grip on the market on Friday after reports suggesting that Saudi Arabia would agree to a ceasefire in Yemen, where it has been fighting anti-government rebels for the last four years.
Peace in Yemen, the focal point of Middle East tensions that have drawn even more attention in recent years than the Palestinian-Israel conflct, could result in much less war risk premium for oil, pushing crude prices even lower.
Hot on the heels of the Yemen development were Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s remarks to Reuters that U.S. President Donald Trump had offered to lift all sanctions on Iran in return for talks. Trump tweeted later that he had agreed to no such thing.
But crude prices remained down anyway as the idea of Iran being allowed to freely export its oil leaves the market vulnerable to additional supplies for which it isn’t immediately prepared.
Iran said in May that it intends to produce at least 1.5 million bpd of crude if it is to enter a new nuclear deal with the United States and other world powers to end the sanctions on its oil. Prior to the sanctions, which came into force in November 2018, Iranian oil exports peaked at about 2.8 million bpd.
Aside from recurring production, the Islamic Republic also has millions of barrels of readily stored oil in bonded warehouses in China or floating offshore that could end up in short order on the global market.
Adding to oil’s weight on Friday was a Bloomberg report that the White House is considering ways to limit investor portfolio flows into China.
The stock market tumbled into the red Friday after the report.
The U.S. government was also considering de-listing Chinese companies from local exchanges and examining limits on Chinese companies included in stock indexes that are managed by American firms, Bloomberg reported.
The report came as officials from the two countries were set to return to trade negotiations on Oct. 10. The White House did not immediately respond to the report.
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