United States crude down 11% for week -- worst performance in 3 years

United States crude down 11% for week -- worst performance in 3 years

Global benchmark Brent crude futures had risen 30 cents, or 0.56 percent, to $54.12 a barrel by 0744 GMT, at one point climbing as far as $54.66. Investors have flocked to safe-haven assets such as gold and government debt at the expense of crude oil and stocks. Despite that, oil prices fell on Friday to their lowest since the third quarter of 2017 as global oversupply kept buyers away from the market ahead of holidays over the next two weeks. They've done it in the past with success so if prices continue to fall then this is likely to be their first step in stabilizing inventories and prices.

Markets across asset classes have come under pressure as the United States government shutdown that began just after midnight on Saturday intensified growth concerns.

OPEC is trying to clear the oil markets of extra oil inventories and over-production.

"Today is going to be a market of very thin liquidity and we don't have strong convictions in such market conditions".

Futures declined as much as 3.3 percent in NY as US stocks tumbled to the lowest in more than a year, with investors assessing the threat to the economy from a government shutdown.

OPEC is said to deepen output cuts.

"In the short-term, it doesn't seem oil prices would drop further because WTI has broken the $50 resistance level and U.S. President Trump would not want to see WTI falling further to support U.S. shale industry", said Kim Kwang-rae, a commodity analyst at Samsung Futures in Seoul.

Another concern for oil producers is the weakening macroeconomic picture and its impact on oil demand.

Qatar's energy minister said it was a hard period for oil prices. The boom in shale output has made the United States the world's largest oil producer, overtaking Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation. The world's biggest oil exporter plans to pump 10.2 million barrels a day in January rather than the 10.3 million allotted to it in the OPEC+ agreement.

USA oil prices are down more than 40% since early October, including an 11% drop last week despite the production deal struck earlier in December between the OPEC and Russia; OPEC members such as the United Arab Emirates continued to try to reassure markets over the weekend saying that the countries would keep to their supply quotas.

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