Crude oil prices at lowest level in five months

Oil prices sink 5% on renewed glut fears

OPEC is expected to decide at talks on May 25 whether to extend the current deal to cut production for an additional six-months to the end of the year.

Oil's retreat stoked declines in other commodities from iron ore to industrial metals. The contract lost $2.30, or 4.8 percent, to $45.52 on Thursday. For Indian consumers, a drop in global crude prices means lower fuel prices at the pumps.

JOB REPORT: Investors' attention now turns to data due after Asian markets close, when the Labor Department releases nonfarm payrolls for April. USA crude fell as low as $45.39, Brent touched $48.32.

The agreement in Vienna was created to speed the end of the worst oil downturn in a generation by mopping up excess supplies and boost prices, providing some relief to resource-rich nations whose economies have taken a big hit. Crude prices spiked and many predicted a speedy return to $60-plus prices as excess supply would finally be drained. Copper and other metals sold off heavily for a second day.

Traders pointed to soaring USA oil production, which has risen over 10 per cent since mid-2016 to 9.3 million bpd, levels close to top producers Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia.

A combination of resilient USA shale output and surprisingly sluggish demand for gasoline from American drivers has kept US oil stockpiles at historically high levels. It's likely to bring prices yet again to $50.

Despite gains on Friday, both benchmarks declined for a third week in a row - Brent by about 5 percent and WTI by 6 percent - in their longest losing streak since November. On the Comex in New York, July copper futures fell 1.2% at $US2.51 a pound. Any drop below this level is likely to push crude towards the lower support levels of $44.5 and $42 per barrel.

Analysts at Vienna-based JBC Energy said the market moved into serious liquidation mode over the last 24 hours, with Brent at least temporarily down $4 per barrel, within just that small period of time.

After crude-oil prices took a beating over the past week, falling to their lowest level since before OPEC-led a deal to curb output in November, analysts at Goldman Sachs say crude may reaching a "capitulation" point. The contracts surrendered gains earlier in the session as rising output in the United States, Canada and Libya offset news of falling production in Russian Federation and OPEC. After having started his trading career with NatWest Bank, he is now based in Singapore as a Senior Currency Trader and Analyst with OANDA, focusing on the movement of the Aussie Dollar and ASEAN Currencies.

While WTI hit its lowest since March 27 at $47.30 a barrel in the last session, Brent on Tuesday slid to its lowest since late March at $50.14 a barrel.