Hedge Funds’ Bearish Oil Bets Put Pressure on OPEC Ahead of Meeting

By Bloomberg

Nov 17, 2023

image is BloomburgMedia_S4ABV7T1UM0W01_18-11-2023_11-00-11_638358624000000000.jpg

A natural gas flare burns near an oil pump jack at the New Harmony Oil Field in Grayville, Illinois, US, on Sunday, June 19, 2022. Top Biden administration officials are weighing limits on exports of fuel as the White House struggles to contain gasoline prices that have topped $5 per gallon. Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg

Hedge funds slashed their bets on oil to the most bearish position in 20 weeks, providing a formidable obstacle for OPEC’s efforts to support prices as it prepares for a meeting later this month. 

Money managers cut their bullish Brent and West Texas Intermediate oil bets by 18,829 combined net-long positions to 252,261 in the week ending Nov. 14, the lowest level since June 27, data from Intercontinental Exchange Inc. and the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission showed. 


Oil capped its fourth straight weekly decline Friday as soft trade data from China and fresh doubts about whether the Federal Reserve has finished raising rates clouded the outlook for demand. At the same time, supplies have been exceeding expectations in recent weeks, causing prices for real-world barrels to soften steadily.

Crude rebounded on Friday on rising expectations that OPEC and its allies will work to counteract the recent plunge at their next meeting on Nov. 26. WTI may also see high volatility on dwindling volumes as the front-month contract nears expiry. 

©2023 Bloomberg L.P.

By Mia Gindis


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