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Why Oil Failed To Rally Further

Oil prices have been on a tear for the last month or so. A combination of a retreat by the dollar from its highs, increasing signs that low crude prices were finally taking their toll on U.S. production and supply disruptions in Canada, Nigeria and parts of the Middle East fueled a rally sparked by a reduction in the pessimism surrounding global growth. The mood was so optimistic that WTI futures even broke through the $50 mark, at least momentarily. The last few days, however, have seen a massive reversal in the tone of the news.

This week started with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) issuing a gloomy forecast for global growth. In their semi-annual report, they identified a “low growth trap” and stated that the governments of the world’s major economies needed to take “urgent action” to stimulate growth. That was bad news for an oil market that is still oversupplied, but prices held up on the hope that OPEC would come to some agreement at their meeting held this week.

That didn’t work out too well, however. Cartel leaders emerged from their meeting yesterday without any agreement to even cap production, let alone cut it as a few had suggested. Incidentally, the fact that those leaders felt the need to reassure the world that OPEC was “alive and well” is another worrying sign. Maybe I am too cynical, but it reminds me of the quote from the Bard…”Methinks the lady doth…

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