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Changing trends?: on the global petroleum market

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A meeting of OPEC and its allies in December will decide the future course of oil prices
The fickle(चंचल) nature of the global petroleum market has been on display over the last few days as prices reacted to statements(बयान/अभिव्यक्ति) and counter-statements by producers and consumers. Over the weekend, Saudi Arabia signalled its discomfort(बेचैनी/असुविधा) with the falling prices and hinted(संकेत दिया/सूचित) at a fresh cut of one million barrels a day. The benchmark Brent crude, which slipped below the $70 a barrel mark last Friday, reacted sharply(शीघ्रता से/कठोरता से) on Monday, rising to above $72. That prompted(प्रेरित करना/उत्साह देना) a tweet from U.S. President Donald Trump asking for lower prices, and so, on Tuesday prices again fell to below $69! The price of Brent crude, which had risen(उठना) over the $85 mark in early October, is down by about 20% from its October peak(शिखर/चोटी). Interestingly(दिलचस्पी से/रुचि से), Saudi Arabia’s latest call to cut output comes just months after the OPEC cartel decided to increase its output. In their June meeting, OPEC members decided to ramp up supply after apprehensions(आशंकाओं/डर) over Iranian supplies in the wake of economic(आर्थिक)sanctions( प्रतिबंध) imposed(लगाया गया/अधिरोपित) by the U.S. Since then, the U.S. has granted(स्वीकृत/दी गई) a temporary waiver to eight countries, including major buyers India and China, to continue importing(आयात करने) oil from Iran for at least the next six months. The way prices have responded to OPEC’s output decision, however, suggests(प्रस्तावित करना/जताना)that it may still(स्थिर/शांत) be too early to dream about higher prices in the near future. A crucial(महत्वपूर्ण/निर्णायक) meeting between the cartel and its allies(सहयोगी दलों) in the first week of December will decide the 2019 output level. That might well set the trend for oil prices in the new year.

Even after OPEC’s sudden change in its supply outlook, oil surprisingly(चकित करते हुए) continued its longest losing streak on record, perhaps(शायद/मुमकिन है) owing(कारण से) to expectations(उम्मीदों) that the production cut would not raise prices significantly(उल्लेखनीय). In fact, technically speaking the oil market is yet to break its short-term downtrend that began(शुरू हुआ)after the fall from its peak in October. Oil prices were down on Tuesday as well. This price action suggests that markets could probably(शायद/संभवतया) still be worried(चिंतित/पर ध्यान देना) about the risks of any kind of sustained(निरंतर /स्थिर किया हुआ)rise in oil prices. For one, strong U.S. opposition to higher oil prices could be making investors(निवेशकों) feel jittery. Mr. Trump’s tweet on Monday, for instance(उदाहरण/घटना), negated(अस्वीकार करना/इनकार करना) the bullish(उत्साही)influence(प्रभाव/शक्ति) of OPEC’s announcement almost immediately. The increasing output of shale is another significant threat(आशंका/खतरा) to oil prices.The U.S. Energy Information Administration last week predicted(भविष्यवाणी) that American crude output would increase(वृद्धि) at a higher pace(उच्च गति ) than expected and lead to lower prices next year. This is not at all surprising because U.S. shale producers have traditionally(पारंपरिक रूप से) increased their output in response to higher oil prices. Also, producers(उत्पादकों) like Russia have been non-committal on any significant production cut. Any slowdown in global economic growth is another risk factor that may weigh down oil.

Important Vocabulary

1.Hinted(संकेत दिया/सूचित) 
Synonyms: advice, announcement, clue, evidence, idea
Antonyms: lot, heedlessness, neglect

2.Sharply(शीघ्रता से/कठोरता से) 
Synonyms: clearly, strongly, discernibly, distinctly, pointedly

Synonyms: alarm, disquiet, doubt, dread, foreboding
Antonyms: belief, calm, calmness, certainty, confidence

4.Prompted(प्रेरित करना/उत्साह देना)
Synonyms: arouse, cause, convince, draw, elicit
Antonyms: calm, depress, discourage, dissuade, halt

Synonyms: apparently, doubtless, no doubt, perhaps, possibly, presumably
Antonyms: improbably, uncertain, unlikely

Synonyms: alarm, disquiet, doubt, dread, foreboding
Antonyms: belief, calm, calmness, certainty, confidence

7.Suggests(प्रस्तावित करना/जताना)
Synonyms: advise, advocate, offer, propose, put, recommend
Antonyms: deny, dissuade, oppose, refuse, take

8. Crucial(महत्वपूर्ण/निर्णायक
Synonyms: central, compelling, deciding, decisive, essential, imperative
Antonyms: inessential, insignificant, minor, optional, secondary

Synonyms: banker, lender, shareholder, stockholder
venture capitalist

Synonyms: compelling, pithy, ball of fire, bullish, cogent

Synonyms: architect, contractor, maker, manufacturer, artisan





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