Sep 26, 2019 - Energy & Environment

The fading Saudi oil freakout

Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

Remember the Jurassic era of oil markets in, uh, mid-September, when aerial attacks left the Saudis reeling and talk of big geopolitical risk premium was all the rage? Things look rather different now.

Driving the news: Both Brent and WTI prices have come down a lot since soaring after the attacks that initially knocked 5.7 million barrels per day of Saudi production offline. The chart above captures WTI's moves.

  • Prices this morning were around $61.15 for Brent and $56.14 for WTI.

Why it matters: The return of prices to nearly pre-attack levels shows the market effect of the Saudi moves to bring back output fast. But it's also a sign that soft economic conditions have reasserted their influence.

  • “Less than two weeks after the attacks on Saudi Arabia, the oil market has returned to business as usual,” Norbert Ruecker, head of economics at Julius Baer, tells Bloomberg.

What's new: "Oil steadied on Thursday due to optimism that the United States and China could resolve their trade dispute, though prices came under pressure from Saudi Arabia’s moves to restore output quickly after attacks on its oil installations," Reuters writes.

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