A broad question but Bloomberg diagnoses some reasons, starting with the Fed.
Crude Falls on Federal Reserve Stimulus Halt, U.S. Supply
By Mark Shenk Oct 30, 2014 | Bloomberg
West Texas Intermediate oil fell after the Federal Reserve ended its asset-purchase program and U.S. crude production surged to the highest level since the 1980s. Brent declined in London.
Futures slipped as much as 1.7 percent in New York. The dollar strengthened a second day against the euro after the Fed’s announcement, curbing the appeal of commodities priced in the U.S. currency as a store of value. U.S. crude supplies rose for a fourth week as output increased to 8.97 million barrels a day,
“Yesterday’s Fed announcement is pushing the dollar higher, which is putting selling pressure on commodities,” Gene McGillian, an analyst and broker at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut, said by phone. “The supply build yesterday may have been smaller than expected but it was still quite large. Ample supply and economic worry are going to continue to weigh on the market.”
WTI for December delivery dropped $1.05, or 1.3 percent, to $81.14 a barrel at 11:59 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Crude has collapsed into a bear market amid increasing global supplies as leading members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries resisted calls to cut production. Futures are down about 11 percent in October, set for the largest monthly loss since May 2012.
It’s only about time. We cannot have economic growth when oil is sucking up all the oxygen. Prices have been doubled since Obama took office. So the Fed is a reason. I guess we should have been blaming the Fed for the high prices, then.
The interesting thing is that Opec is holding production. Prices are bound to affect oil rich countries, especially Iran. Reuters 2012: “Tehran requires $117 [per barrel] to balance the books, according to the IMF”.
Here’s to hoping Obummer doesn’t do anything to stop the long-awaited correction. Was this supposed to be a pre-midterm surprise? I don’t know. The Opec statement hints at it.