Energy

US crude rebounds 2.4% after Black Friday sell-off, settling at $51.63

Key Points
  • Brent crude, the international benchmark for oil prices, holds above $60 a barrel after Friday's 6 percent drop.
  • Oil prices rise as U.S. stock markets broadly rally and Genscape reports that crude stockpiles at the U.S. hub of Cushing, Oklahoma barely increased last week.
  • However, demand concerns and a report of record output from Saudi Arabia limit Monday's rebound.
Oil pumpjacks in the Permian Basin oil field are getting to work as crude oil prices gain.
Spencer Platt | Getty Images

Oil prices rose on Monday, clawing back some of the previous session's steep losses, although gains where capped by uncertainty over global economic growth and further signs of increasing supply.

Brent crude futures were up $1.67, or 2.8 percent, at $60.47 a barrel by 2:26 p.m. ET. Brent sank 6 percent on Friday.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures ended Monday's session up $1.21, or 2.4 percent, at $51.63 a barrel. The gains partly made up for Friday's 7.7 percent drop.

Prices on Friday hit their lowest since October 2017 amid intensifying fears of a supply glut. Brent sank to $58.41 a barrel, while WTI fell to $50.15 a barrel.

"Prices slumped heavily last week," Commerzbank commodities analyst Carsten Fritsch said. "It is therefore not surprising to see a counter move."

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Supporting oil prices, U.S. stock markets broadly rallied as Cyber Monday, the largest online shopping day of the year, began. Crude futures at times track with the equities market.

Prices found some support as crude stockpiles at the U.S. hub of Cushing, Oklahoma, rose just 126 barrels from Tuesday to Friday, traders said, citing a report from market intelligence firm Genscape.

However, demand concerns and record output from Saudi Arabia limited Monday's rebound.

Saudi crude oil production hit 11.1-11.3 million barrels per day (bpd) in November, an all-time high, an industry source told Reuters on Monday.

A rising dollar that has undercut demand in key emerging market economies, higher borrowing costs and the threat to global growth from the trade dispute between the United States and China have pushed investors out of assets more closely aligned with the global economy, such as equities or oil.

In November alone, hedge funds have pulled more than $12 billion out of the oil market, based on a record drop in net long holdings of Brent and U.S. crude futures and options against the average oil price for the month.

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Even the prospect of a near-certain cut in output by OPEC has not been enough to stem the slide.

OPEC meets in Vienna on Dec. 6, amid expectations that Saudi Arabia will push for a production cut of up to 1.4 million bpd by the producer club and its allies.

Goldman Sachs said on Monday the G20 meeting this week could be a catalyst for a rebound in commodities prices, possibly prompting a thaw in U.S.-China trade tensions and offering greater clarity on a potential OPEC oil curb.

Goldman believes OPEC and other nations will come to an agreement, leading to a recovery in Brent prices.

"While we didn't think that Brent prices were justified at $86 per barrel, neither do we believe that they are at $59/bbl with our 2019 Brent forecast at $70/bbl," Goldman said.

— CNBC's Tom DiChristopher contributed to this report.

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Key Points
  • China's state-owned CNPC has replaced France's Total in Iran's multibillion-dollar South Pars gas project, Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said, according to the semi-official news agency ICANA on Sunday.
  • Total, which had a 50.1 percent stake in the project, and CNPC could not immediately be reached for comment.
  • The French company said in August it had told Iranian authorities it would withdraw from the South Pars gas project after it failed to obtain a waiver from U.S. sanctions against Iran.