By Kevin Baxter
Oil prices pulled back Monday on lingering negative sentiment around the proposed production cuts by major oil producing nations.
The December contract for the global benchmark Brent was down 0.22% at $49.60 a barrel while its U.S. counterpart West Texas Intermediate fell 0.14% to $48.61.
With the official meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries only a month away, many market watchers openly doubt whether the cartel can organize consensus on cutting production in time.
Azerbaijan, Brazil, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Oman and Russia all refused to commit to cut or even freeze production until there was agreement among OPEC member states.
Morgan Stanley said in a note that the recent discussions with non-OPEC members aimed at increasing market confidence only succeeded in achieving the opposite.
"After meeting in Vienna, OPEC remains at an impasse. Non-OPEC members are also refusing to join until OPEC formalizes an agreement, with several refusing to cut at all," analysts from the bank said.
The lack of confidence swirling around OPEC could worsen later today when the cartel releases its production surveys. Germany's Commerzbank has predicted that the figures will show that OPEC over-produced by a significant margin in October, highlighting the need for cuts.
Meanwhile, the U.K.'s Barclays has predicted higher oil prices in 2017, regardless of the outcome of the OPEC meeting on Nov. 30. In a note, the bank said that the winter months should see large reductions in global stock levels leading to a much tighter market in 2017 than has been witnessed in 2015 and 2016.
The bank added that prices should average in the low $50-a-barrel range for the remainder of the fourth quarter and then rise to average $57 a barrel in 2017.
The December contract for the Brent benchmark entered its final day of trading Monday, which portends a downward correction for the January contract when it transfers to front-month status on Tuesday.
Nymex reformulated gasoline blendstock futures --the benchmark gasoline contract was up 0.14% at $1.56 a gallon, while diesel futures traded at $1.56, 0.39% higher.
ICE gas oil futures changed hands at $458.50 a metric ton, a gain of 0.81%.
Write to Kevin Baxter at Kevin.Baxter@wsj.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
October 31, 2016 07:27 ET (11:27 GMT)
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