Oil futures open lower in electronic trading

Commodities & Futures
© Reuters. An oil pump jack pumps oil in a field near Calgary © Reuters. An oil pump jack pumps oil in a field near Calgary

By David Gaffen

NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. oil futures dipped in electronic trading Sunday evening, extending losses from last week that marked the eighth week of losses out of the last nine.

Trading was extremely volatile last week, in an extension of the selling that has dominated trading since early March as demand collapsed 30% due to the pandemic. Global production cuts have not kept pace with the collapse in demand.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate () futures were down 32 cents to $ 16.62 a barrel as of 6:15 p.m. ET (2215 GMT), while Brent futures () rose 12 cents, or 0.6%, to settle at $ 21.56 a barrel.

Oil futures marked their third straight week of losses last week, with Brent ending down 24% and WTI off around 7%.

Traders expect demand to fall short of supply for months due to the economic disruption caused by the pandemic. Investors will be watching this week for results from oil majors including Exxon Mobil (N:), BP Plc (L:) and Royal Dutch Shell (L:).

Producers may not be slashing output quickly or deeply enough to buoy prices, especially when global economic output is expected to contract by 2% this year, worse than the financial crisis.

Storage is quickly filling worldwide, which could necessitate more production cuts, even after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies including Russia agreed this month to cut output by 9.7 million barrels per day.

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