Oil steadies after rally as market counts down to OPEC+ meeting

OIL steadied after the biggest one-day gain since May as the market looked to OPEC+ to deliver on expectations for a major cut in supply.

West Texas Intermediate traded above $83 a barrel after rallying by more than 5% on Monday. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies including Russia will consider reducing output by more than 1 million barrels a day when they meet on Wednesday, according to delegates.

Oil slumped 25% last quarter as central banks including the Federal Reserve raised rates aggressively to combat runaway inflation. The shift to tighter monetary policy spurred speculation of a sharp slowdown in global growth, hurting demand for commodities that were also hit by a surging dollar.

The OPEC+ gathering in Vienna will be the group’s first in-person meeting since the pandemic forced the group online. In addition, ministers plan to hold a press conference after their session, the first such briefing since last year.

Prices:
  • WTI for November delivery declined 0.2% to $83.43 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 8:06 a.m. in Singapore.
  • Brent for December settlement was 3 cents higher at $88.89 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said that a potential cut by the alliance “would occur amid one of the tightest markets in recorded history,” according to an Oct. 3 note entitled “OPEC takes on the Fed”. Still, such a decision could be justified by the recent large decline in crude prices, it said.

A move by OPEC+ to cut output would be a setback for US President Joe Biden, who’s urged the group to add barrels to counter inflation ahead of midterm elections next month. It also suggests efforts to isolate Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine aren’t working as well as the administration would like.

The prospect of less supply from the alliance has helped to widen major market timespreads, indicating an expectation for tighter conditions. WTI’s prompt spread — the difference between its two nearest contracts — was 92 cents a barrel in backwardation, up from 35 cents two weeks ago.