CNBC's Bertha Coombs discusses the day's activity in the commodities markets. Crude continues to head south, even though geopolitical events keep a floor around the low $90s.» Read More
Uncertainty about how far world fuel demand and oil prices will fall has made it harder than ever for OPEC members to agree on how to balance group output policy against the divergent needs of their individual budgets.
World oil demand will contract more sharply than expected this year due to the economic crisis, OPEC said on Friday, an outlook that may bolster the case for further supply cuts.
On Friday, the auto bailout was announced: General Motors and Chrysler will get up to $17.4 billion in short-term loans from the U.S. in return for deep concessions. Treasury boss Hank Paulson reversed himself, asking for the second half of the TARP fund. Who gets bailed out next — and where does it end? Strategists told CNBC the bailout is going to make things worse; but one airline CEO sees a healthy Darwinian process.
Thursday: U.S. jobless claims eased from a 26-year peak but still showed weakness in the economy. After the Federal Reserve's moves this week, homeowners are scrambling to refinance; the dollar is sliding against the euro. And the second half of the $700 billion TARP bailout fund looks likely to go toward foreclosure relief and economic stimulus. CNBC heard from experts who say crude oil prices are finally correct — and oil, stocks and gold are going to soar.
Has OPEC become irrelevant to the commodities market?
Some of the bad news Tuesday was "less worse" than many feared: Goldman Sachs reported its first quarterly loss since going public — but the $2.1 billion loss was much narrower than many had feared and Goldman shares rose as much as 11 percent. Stocks soared on the Federal Reserve rate-cut decision and options trading looks bullish on Boeing. CNBC heard from experts who predict a massive OPEC cut and more Fed moves to come.
Remember oil prices fell 25% in the week after the Nov. 29 sideline meeting OPEC members held in Cairowhere they decided not to really do anything and the market had been waiting for some kind of announcement. That took prices from $56 to $40/barrel.
Oil markets should brace for a surprise decision on output cuts when OPEC meets Dec. 17, the cartel's president said Saturday, suggesting that reductions could be deeper than expected.
Oil prices are expected to stay around $50 a barrel through next year, but that may not give much of a boost to consumer spending, the economy or stocks.
Oil prices tumbled around 5 percent on Tuesday as the deepening global economic crisis dragged down markets and raised expectations energy demand will slow further.
Oil prices rose on Monday as Saudi Arabia's move to cut supplies and China's launch of a $600 billion economic stimulus plan aided market volatility.
Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia provided the most visible evidence yet of adhering to OPEC's deal to curb output by telling refiners in Asia that it would cut December supplies by 5 percent, term lifters said on Monday.
Oil should be above $70 a barrel to encourage investment in increased production capacity and avoid creating future supply crises, Qatar's oil minister said on Monday.
Oil prices jumped more than 10 percent on Tuesday on signs Saudi Arabia had made substantial cuts in its crude exports and as global financial markets rallied.
Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia has already cut significantly crude supplies to some of its customers, industry sources said on Tuesday, quelling doubts OPEC would stick to its latest output deal.
Oil traders are nervously keeping an ear to the ground for the latest word from OPEC.
With unemployment rising and the credit crisis still far from over, cheaper gasoline and heating oil probably won't make much difference to consumers.
The winter holidays are unlikely to bring relief to jittery investors as stock markets may fall between 10 and 20 percent within the next four months, Jason Forde, fund manager at Kepler Capital Markets said Wednesday.
You know the oil markets are in touble when even a hurricane can't stop prices from falling.
OPEC's decision to for a modest cut in production isn't likely to stop crude prices from heading lower in the coming months, analysts said.