Oil rebounds from steep slide but growth fears still weigh

Opec president Suhail al Mazrouei says there is a surplus of only 26 million barrels of oil in the market now. – EPA pic

One reason for the relatively muted gains for Exxon stock and other energy names could be that crude oil prices extended losses after US stock markets closed at 1 p.m. ET on Christmas Eve.

Oil continues to fall after a sharp decline last week, news agencies said.

Crude was also caught up on the general risk-off market sentiment as the USA government shutdown, rising interest rates and the trade war between the us and China rocked the markets and exacerbated concerns over global growth.

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.

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Both U.S. and Brent crude were more than 6 percent higher on Wednesday, but it was unclear if the move would see any follow-through when trading desks are more fully staffed after the beginning of the new year.

The fourth-quarter price decline is likely to cause producers to throttle back on their output, he said.

Meanwhile Brent crude oil futures LCOc1 were down 11 cents or 0.22 percent at $50.36 a barrel, having skidded 6.2 percent in the previous session to $50.47 a barrel, the weakest since August 2017.

"What's happening in the stock market is raising fears that the economy is grinding to a halt and thereby will basically kill any future oil demand", said Phil Flynn, an analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago. Asian securities exchanges withdrew again on Wednesday.

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Saudi Arabia overtook Russian Federation as China's largest crude oil supplier in November, breaking Russia's 19-month streak, data from China's General Administration of Customs showed on Monday.

Suhail Al Mazrouei, the UAE's energy minister, said that Opec has the option to hold an extraordinary meeting to decide on more output cuts if the current one isn't enough. On BSE, over 2.82 million shares changed hands today at the SpiceJet counter, as against average daily volume of 1.14 million shares. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that shutdown could last until his demand for U.S. -Mexico border wall money is met.

As of 7:15 a.m. EST, West Texas Intermediate front-month futures rose just under two per cent to $43.37 per barrel, while Brent front-month rose by 1.2 per cent to $51.40 per barrel as of the same time, according to United Press International. The market settled early ahead of the Christmas holiday.

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.

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