Markets De-Escalate, OPEC Production Falls
One week after the announcement of Iranian General Soleimani’s death, oil markets are trading below pre-attack levels. Crude oil prices are back below $60/bbl, diesel prices are below $2.00, and gasoline is below $1.70. Crude oil is currently trading at $59.05, down 51 cents from yesterday’s close.
Fuel prices are mixed this morning, with diesel tracking crude’s losses while gasoline rises. Diesel prices are currently trading at $1.9413, down 0.9 cents from yesterday’s close. Gasoline prices are $1.6584 currently, up 0.6 cents.
It appears the confrontation with Iran has been completely discounted by the market. Vice President Pence shared that Iranian forces are allegedly asking their militias to stand down for the moment to prevent another escalatory strike, while Iran’s military has suggested their retaliation was meant to target equipment, not personnel.
Now that the market has cooled off, traders are beginning to once again focus on the fundamentals of the market, where global inventories remain elevated relative to historical levels. On that note, OPEC’s production fell in December as Nigeria and Iraq held more closely to the supply agreement, resulting in a net 50 kbpd reduction for the group compared to November levels. In economic news, Goldman Sachs estimates that nonfarm payrolls increased by 185,000 in December, beating market growth expectations and signaling a strong economy.
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