Crude oil ticks higher, stabilizing after two days of steep declines, although weaker demand forecasts weigh on prices: U.S. WTI +0.6% at $71.39/bbl, Brent +0.1% at $80.33/bbl.
Both benchmarks, which remain poised for their first weekly decline in five weeks, plunged ~3% yesterday, and Brent briefly dropped below $80.
OPEC's monthly market report yesterday showed a rise in OPEC and Russian crude production in September, more than making up for reduced Iranian output ahead of U.S. sanctions, and cut its global oil demand growth forecast for this year and next, for the third month in a row.
This morning, the International Energy Agency shared that view, saying global oil demand will grow more slowly than initially expected in 2018 and 2019, citing "a weaker economic outlook, trade concerns, higher oil prices and a revision to Chinese data."
"The bearish alarm bells are ringing for next year's oil balance as market players brace for the return of a supply surplus," says Stephen Brennock of oil broker PVM.