• U.S. oil prices took another leg lower Tuesday afternoon after President Trump emphasized strong ties with the Saudi Arabian government.
• Light, sweet crude for January delivery was 7.5% lower at $52.77 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, dropping below a one-year low as a selloff on Wall Street sparked risk aversion across asset classes.
• Brent crude slid 4.4% to $63.87 a barrel.
• “After the United States, Saudi Arabia is the largest oil-producing nation in the world,” Mr. Trump said in a statement. “They have worked closely with us and have been very responsive to my requests to keeping oil prices at reasonable levels—so important for the world.”
Wall Street: A rout on Wall Street pushed the U.S. benchmark oil price toward the one-year low, under $55 a barrel, which was reached last week on concerns over rising global oil supplies. “We’re following equities,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital. “The market had found a floor over the past couple days, but today with equity markets continuing to move toward bear-market territory, nothing isn’t fair game.”
U.S. inventories: Analysts and traders surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expect an average 1.9 million-barrel increase in U.S. crude-oil stockpiles in this week’s Energy Department report. Bullish investors are hoping the report provides some relief after eight straight weeks of bearish increases, as U.S. refineries wrap up the fall season maintenance period and take in more oil for processing. The WSJ survey predicts refinery use will rise 1 percentage point from the previous week, to 91.1%.
Bear market: Both WTI and Brent entered bear market territory earlier this month, having fallen more than 20% from their recent near-four-year peak hit in early October, as investors readjusted their supply and demand outlook. “The demand risk was there already in the sense that the discussions about trade wars and potential impact on global growth have been in there for a while, the big new input over the last six weeks has been the rebound in U.S. crude oil supplies,” said Olivier Jakob, founder of Swiss consulting firm Petromatrix. Mr. Jakob said WTI was trying to build a base around $55 a barrel, while Brent was trying to stabilize at $65 a barrel.
OPEC: For investors seeking a bullish argument for prices from here, analysts say it is all down to whether OPEC and its allies, including Russia, will agree to cut production when they meet on Dec. 6. Until recently, OPEC members and other producers had been ramping up production, anticipating a shortage of supply as U.S. sanctions on Iran kicked in, but a series of waivers granted to Iranian oil buyers meant there was more supply for the global market than expected.
• The American Petroleum Institute releases its weekly statistical bulletin at 4.30 p.m. Tuesday.
• The U.S. Energy Information Administration releases its weekly petroleum status report at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday.
• Most U.S. energy markets will close early on Friday, at 12:45 p.m., following the Thanksgiving holiday.