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WTI hits below $50 for the first time in more than a year

  • Crude oil selloff intensifies on Monday amid demand concerns.
  • OPEC+ is considering to deepen output cut by 500K barrels per day.
  • China's crude oil consumption reportedly declined 20% due to coronavirus.

The barrel of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) lost nearly 16% in January and extended its slide on the first trading day of February as markets continue to price the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on the global oil demand. According to Bloomberg, crude oil consumption in China has declined by nearly 20% due to the outbreak.

Demand outlook weighs on WTI

The WTI hit its lowest level since January 2019 at $49.91 in the last hour and recovered modestly to trade around $50.30, where it still losing 2.4% on a daily basis.

In the meantime, Reuters on Monday reported that the OPEC and its allies, OPEC+, is considering to deepen the oil output by 500,000 barrels per day to offset the negative impact of the dismal demand outlook on prices. Nevertheless, the WTI's positive reaction to this headline remained short-lived, suggesting that markets don't think that this measure will be enough to balance the market.

Earlier in the day, Analysts at Citi Group announced that they lowered their oil price forecast for the first quarter of 2020, citing a drastic shift in the economic outlook for China and globally amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Markets will be paying close attention to OPEC+ headlines as the group is reportedly planning an emergency meeting next week. 

Technical levels to watch for

 

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