Oil slid to a four-year low amid speculation OPEC will refrain from cutting output at today’s meeting, dragging down shares of energy companies, Gulf-region stocks, and the Norwegian krone. Government bonds rose, with yields in Europe falling to record lows.
West Texas Intermediate crude tumbled 2.1 percent to $72.15 a barrel at 11:07 a.m. London time, a fourth-straight decline. While the Stoxx Europe 600 Index gained 0.2 percent after data showed record-low German unemployment, a gauge of energy producers slid 1.3 percent. Qatar and Oman led stocks lower in the Gulf region, and Norway’s krone weakened against all its 16 major counterparts. France’s 10-year yield fell to an all-time low of 1.006 percent.
Representatives from the 12-member Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries are meeting in Vienna, with oil prices mired in a bear market. The 27 percent drop this year has pulled the Stoxx 600 Oil & Gas Index down 6.5 percent, weakened currencies of commodity-producing nations and damped inflation, helping fuel a rally in fixed-income assets. Germany will release consumer-price data today as investors weigh whether theEuropean Central Bank will step up stimulus. Most U.S. markets are closed for Thanksgiving.
“OPEC is the main event,” Michael McCarthy, chief strategist at CMC Markets in Sydney, said by phone. “The Saudis’ actions over the past month quite clearly indicate to the market that OPEC is unlikely to agree to production cuts, or if they do, the market will doubt the intent to deliver.”
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