Brent oil falls as China seeks to ease energy crisis

Brent oil declined from its highest level since 2018 as a U.S. industry report pointed to an increase in crude stockpiles and China unleashed measures aimed at stabilizing its power supplies for the winter.

Futures in London fell below $85/bbl amid a broader drop in raw materials including aluminum and copper. China is studying ways to intervene in the coal market to ensure reasonable prices, while the nation’s energy watchdog hosted a Tuesday meeting with refiners after oil prices soared.

Brent for December settlement slid 0.9 per cent to $84.32/bbl at 10:52 a.m. London time. West Texas Intermediate for November delivery, which expires Wednesday, fell 0.9 per cent to $82.24/bbl. The more-active December contract lost one per cent to $81.64.

Oil has rallied as an energy crunch — prompted by coal and natural gas shortages — coincided with rebounding demand from economies recovering from the pandemic. Wall Street has been steadily upping its estimates for oil prices in recent weeks, with Morgan Stanley the latest bank to do so, calling for $95 Brent in the first quarter of next year.

© 2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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