What’s Happening?

All of the reports, rumours and speculation about whether or not OPEC and non-OPEC producers can reach a deal to manage supply and end the 2-year market share war comes to a head on Wednesday. Negotiations, comments and reaction could spark significant swings and reversals throughout the week.

Technicals:

For the last several months, oil has been trending sideways in a channel mainly between $40.00 and $50.00 with overshoots toward $39.00 and $51.00. There are also smaller channels providing intermediate support and resistance, most recently between $43.00 and $49.00. The 200-day average is just above $44.00 while the 50-day average is just above $47.00.

Recently trading near $45.00, the middle of the range, we have already seen significant intraday swings this week. The announcement of whether a deal has been reached or not could quickly send oil toward the top or the bottom of this channel with a deal likely seen as positive and the lack of a deal likely seen as negative.

Fundamentals

It has now been two years since the oil price collapsed through much of this year, major OPEC and non-OPEC countries (particularly Russia) have been trying to work out a deal to manage production, bring their market share war to an end and put a floor back under the prices.

The first attempt at a deal collapsed in April. In September, countries reached a broad stroke agreement and for the last two months have been trying to hammer out the details. The details are, as always, where the problems lay.

The deadline for a deal has been set for the regular OPEC Meeting on Wednesday November 30.  A meeting between OPEC and non-OPEC countries planned for Monday was cancelled because Saudi Arabia wanted OPEC to sort out its own house before bringing in others.

With the deadline coming, the knives are out and comments from any of several parties could have a big impact on trading through the week.

Saudi Arabia remains at the centre of the storm with the biggest question being how much of the burden of cuts are they willing to bear? A deal may also hinge on whether other countries particularly Iran, Iraq and Russia are willing to cut production or only freeze it. Whether we get a deal or not, whether it is a cut or freeze deal and who is willing to do what may all play in influence in the size and direction of market moves this week.

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