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Oil Climbs Most In Years As Markets Shrug Off Christmas Crash

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The WTI benchmark was trading up more than 8 percent on Wednesday afternoon, after a rather brutal Christmas Eve that left oil bulls bloody.

Oil prices were up even higher earlier on Wednesday, with WTI trading up more than 10 percent shortly after 4:00pm EST. Oil’s rise was in lockstep with the Dow Jones and the Nasdaq, which also saw big gains on Wednesday, both rising more than 5 percent, and came after Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak reassured the market that it would see more stability in 2019 as OPEC and its allies strengthened its cooperation.

Big oil fared well on Wednesday as well, with the United States’ four largest oil companies seeing big gains. Exxon Mobil Corporation (XOM) up 4.68%, Chevron (CVX) up 6.34%, ConocoPhillips (COP) up 7.69%, and EOG Resources Inc (EOG) up 7.39%.

For WTI and Brent, today’s price spike of near 10% nearly erases the Christmas Eve plunge, but week on week, both benchmarks are in the red. At 4:13pm EST, WTI was trading up on the day $4.42 (+10.39%) per barrel at $46.95. That rare gain is still down from last week’s near-$48 per barrel. Brent crude was trading up $4.76 (+9.38%) at $55.53, still down from this time last week when it was a hair below $58 per barrel.

The oil market has shown great disappointment despite OPEC’s success in agreeing to another production cut agreement with Russia, which will begin in the new year. The disappointment is a culmination of factors, but includes worry over sluggish demand growth, and skepticism that OPEC’s production cuts will be insufficient to compensate for that stunted growth. The government shutdown is also worrisome for oil traders.

Novak also reassured the markets that OPEC and its allies would meet as necessary to discuss managing the oil market, even outside the regularly scheduled meeting which is to take place in April 2019.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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  • EdBCN on December 27 2018 said:
    The bounce is small (so far) in comparison to the drop.
  • Norm Dill on December 27 2018 said:
    Enough already with this oil price game. Thus is speculation or and simple. Oil prices are basically on a downward sloping line and have been since July of 2014. There will be (and have been) ups and downs, but the basic trend is down because there is simply more exploitable oil in the ground than we will ever use. Only cartels Hills the price up now. The trend look at from above is down, period.

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