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WTI eyes biggest monthly price loss since May 2019

  • WTI oil is eyeing the first double-digit monthly loss since May. 
  • Prices have dropped sharply over the last few days on Coronavirus fears.
  • OPEC is reportedly planning to move forward it's meeting. 

West Texas Intermediate oil is on track to post its biggest and the first double-digit monthly loss since May 2019. 

The black gold is currently trading at $53 per barrel, representing a 13.58% loss on a month-to-date basis. A double-digit loss was last seen in May 2019, when prices had dropped by 15.91%. 

The month began on a positive note with US-Iran tensions boosting geopolitical uncertainty. Prices rose to a nine-month high of $65.62 on Jan. 8 after Iran launched a retaliatory attack ob US bases in Iraq. The tensions, however, eased on the same day, weakening the bid tone around oil. 

WTI fell by over 4 percent on Jan. 8 and has been falling ever since. Prices hit a 3.5 -month low of $52.78 on Monday. 

The losses seen over the last nine days or so could be associated with increasing fears the coronavirus outbreak in China could turn into a pandemic, derailing the global growth recovery. 

The sharp sell-off hasn't gone down well with the OPEC, which is reportedly planning to move forward it's scheduled March 5-6 meeting. "It is very likely to advance to February the OPEC meeting, initially scheduled for the beginning of March, so that we can find the means to ensure market balance," Algerian energy minister Mohamed Arkab said Wednesday, according to S&P Global Platts. 

OPEC and its allies agreed in December to implement 1.7 million barrels per day of production cuts for the first three months of 2020 to support prices.

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