3. Zero-hour for the OPEC-Russia pact
Decision time: The June 22 OPEC meeting in Vienna will likely show whether and to what extent the cartel and Russia (among other producers) will relax their production-cutting deal.
Why it matters: The output pact that took effect early last year has helped to tame the global supply glut and boost prices, and now, with prices higher, Venezuela collapsing and sanctions poised to bite Iran, the calculus has changed.
Crystal ball: Goldman Sachs analysts, in a note Monday, predicted that Saudi Arabia, other core Mideast OPEC members, and Russia will together hike output by one million barrels per day over the second half of 2018. Yet thanks to declines in Venezuela and Iran, the net increase will be about half that amount.
The intrigue: An Iranian official told Bloomberg over the weekend that Iran, Iraq and Venezuela will seek to block the output hike at the meeting, but that Saudi Arabia — the cartel's dominant player — has options to thwart the move.
The politics: The White House could try and spin any output hike as a political win for President Trump, who has been publicly leaning on OPEC to put more barrels on the market.
Situational awareness: The expected supply growth and the U.S.-China trade fight are among the factors pushing oil prices lower in recent days. U.S. crude prices reached two-month lows earlier Monday, Reuters reports.