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WTI edges lower toward $56 handle, down more than 1% on the day

  • Crude oil prices start the week on a negative note.
  • Investors may be looking to take profits before next week's OPEC meeting.

Crude oil prices are pushing lower on Monday, with the barrel of West Texas Intermediate losing more than 1%, or 60 cents, on the day. At the moment, the barrel of WTI is trading at $56.16, a tad above its daily low of $55.98.

Vienna meeting in the limelight

OPEC members are set to meet in Vienna on November 30 to discuss a possible extension of the output cut deal, which will expire at the end of March, until the end of 2018. Commenting on a potential outcome of that meeting, "it is widely believed that OPEC together with 10 non-OPEC countries will roll-over their production for the whole of 2018 although Russia is holding its cards close to its chest," PVM Oil Associates strategist Tamas Varga told Reuters.

Following the rally witnessed during the first half of this month, the barrel of WTI went into a consolidation phase and retraced a portion of its recent gains. Increasing shale oil prıduction output and higher-than-expected inventory buildup in the U.S. kept the market participants on edge. Nonetheless, buyers continued to defend the $55 handle, which became a critical short-term support for the barrel of WTI. A break below this level seems unlikely unless investors find a reason to suspect that the output cut agreement won't be extended.

  • Oil: Corrective phase may not be complete – BBH

Technical levels to consider

With a decisive break through $55 (psychological level/Nov. 15/16 low), the barrel of WTI could extend its losses towards $54.40 (Nov. 3 low) and $53.75 (Oct. 30 low). On the upside, resistances align at $56.80 (daily high), $57.35 (Nov. 10 high) and $58 (psychological level/Nov. 8 high).

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