OIL PRICES: $40 - $50
According to OGE, former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan suggested that oil prices have probably bottomed out at about $40 per barrel after tumbling more than 20 percent in the past two months into a bear market.
"It's hard for me to imagine it going very much lower, but it could," he said Wednesday, according to the transcript of a conference call organized by Rock Creek Group, an investment advisory firm in Washington.
Greenspan sees oil trading in a range of about $40 to $50 a barrel over the next couple of years. A $50 price would be high enough to encourage new shale oil production in the U.S., he said.
Oil futures traded near $42 a barrel in New York on Thursday, down from a 2016 closing high of $51.23 on June 8.
Greenspan made the following additional points during the call:
China's economic system is "unsustainable" because the government effectively guarantees "everything" against loss. "They started going in the right direction" in trying to change that but "then they reversed course" in the face of political opposition, he said.
He was surprised by how strong automobile sales were last month, but he cautioned that there were limits on how far consumer spending could carry the economy while business investment was weak. "This is an unstable outlook," he said.
The U.S. federal government should be running a budget surplus, not a deficit, to build up funds to pay for retiring workers. The surplus should be 3 percent of gross domestic product or more, Greenspan said.
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REUTERS - Brent crude futures LCOc1 were down 72 cents at $61.49 per barrel at 1020 GMT, having fallen by 1.5 percent on Tuesday, its largest one-day drop in a month. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 was at $55.12 per barrel, down 58 cents.
BLOOMBERG - Prices dropped during the session as the International Energy Agency said the recent recovery in oil prices, coupled with milder-than-normal winter weather, is slowing demand growth. The worsening outlook for consumption dampened some of the enthusiasm that OPEC and its allies will extend supply curbs.
Global energy needs rise more slowly than in the past but still expand by 30% between today and 2040. This is the equivalent of adding another China and India to today’s global demand.
Product exports have grown significantly over the past several years and are expected to continue to grow as Russian refineries add capacity to produce more high-quality products.