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Standard Chartered: Oil Poised to Plunge to $10 a Barrel

Standard Chartered: Oil Poised to Plunge to $10 a Barrel
(Dollar Photo Club)

By    |   Wednesday, 13 January 2016 10:16 AM

One bearish investment bank now warns that the price of oil may continue to plunge until it hits $10 a barrel.

Standard Chartered became the latest major bank to downgrade its oil outlook, predicting crude will tumble to $10. The bank joins Goldman Sachs, RBS and Morgan Stanley in making ultra-bearish calls as prices have collapsed by 15 percent this year, the U.K. Telegraph reported.

Analysts warned the oil market remains fundmentally out of balance as record over-supply and stagnant demand weighs on traders, the report said.

Standard Chartered said there was no bottom in sight until "money managers in the market conceded that matters had gone too far," the Telegraph reported.

"Given that no fundamental relationship is currently driving the oil market towards any equilibrium, prices are being moved almost entirely by financial flows caused by fluctuations in other asset prices, including the dollar and equity markets," said Standard Chartered. “We think prices could fall as low as $10/bbl before most of the money managers in the market conceded that matters had gone too far,” it added.

Oil last slumped to $10 during the height of the Asian financial crisis in 1998, said Simon Williams at RAC.

“It’s going to be a very interesting year in oil,” said Ric Spooner, chief market analyst at CMC Markets in Sydney. “The lower the price goes, the faster in time we are likely to form a base and recover.”

Analysts have scrambled to adjust forecasts amid the price rout, with Barclays, Macquarie, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Standard Chartered and Societe Generale all cutting their 2016 oil price forecasts.

“A marked deterioration in oil market fundamentals in early 2016 has persuaded us to make some large downward adjustments to our oil price forecasts for 2016,” Barclays bank said.

“We now expect Brent and WTI to both average $37/barrel in 2016, down from our previous forecasts of $60 and $56, respectively,” it added.

Meanwhile, Brent crude ended 2 percent lower on Wednesday after falling below $30 a barrel for the first time since April 2004 as a growing stocks of oil in the United States stoked market fears about demand, Reuters reported.

Both Brent and U.S. crude futures saw highs early in the day of more than $1 above Tuesday's closing price on upbeat Chinese economic data earlier in the session.

But U.S. government data showing builds in crude, gasoline and diesel supplies augmented fears that demand will stagnate as global markets contend with oversupply.

Concerns about U.S. economic uncertainty also amplified the declines, the Standard and Poor’s 500 index dipped below 1900 for the first time since early October.

Brent fell to a new 12-year low at $29.96 a barrel before settling at $30.31 a barrel, down 55 cents or 1.8 percent.

U.S. crude settled at $30.48, up 4 cents or 0.1 percent after dropping as low as $30.10. On Tuesday, it dropped as low as $29.93, which was last seen in December 2003.

Brent, which normally trades at a premium to U.S. crude, flipped into a discount just after 2:00 p.m. EST, as it tested and broke beneath the $30 level.

Data showing that crude inventories rose 234,000 barrels last week, much less than expectations, was overshadowed by reported builds of 8.4 million barrels in gasoline and over 6 million in distillates, which includes diesel and heating oil.

"Overall, it's a bearish report. I think today's inventory report is all about products...The long awaited massive decline in crude production is not starting again," said Dominic Chirichella, senior partner at Energy Management Institute in New York.

This was a second week of huge builds in refined fuel with gasoline surging the most since 1993 in the previous week.

"Last week's build was massive, and this week's was much larger than the seasonal norm," said John Saucer, Vice President at Mobius Risk Group in Houston.

The dynamics of supply have shifted as diesel stockpiles have surged past year-ago levels, indicating a products surplus, Saucer added.

Analysts at Morgan Stanley also warned that a rise in demand for crude could be lower than previously expected.

"Any slowing in the rate of demand growth could delay the timing of rebalancing and ultimately a price recovery," they said in a research note.

The potential for the calling of an emergency OPEC meeting also weakened on Wednesday when Iran's oil minister was quoted as saying he had not received any request for such a gathering.

Nigeria's oil minister said on Tuesday that a "couple" of OPEC members had asked for an emergency meeting.

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Standard Chartered warns that the price of oil may continue to plunge until it hits $10 a barrel.
oil, crude, price, ten dollars
Wednesday, 13 January 2016 10:16 AM
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