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Loonie at lowest level since February as data hints oil oversupply may last through 2017

The Toronto Stock Exchange and the Canadian dollar were both lower on Friday as oil prices dipped on the prospect of a persistent oversupply of crude that is not expected to abate unless OPEC and other producers significantly cut their output. 

The TSX lost 188 points to close at 14,555 on Friday, dragged down by the energy sector. The loonie followed suit, losing about a third of a cent to 73.82 cents US — the lowest level for the Canadian dollar since February.

Oil prices dipped as the market refocused on a persistent fuel supply overhang. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures closed down $1.47 at $43.19 per barrel, weighed down by weakening U.S. demand.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average — which is less heavily reliant on energy companies than Toronto’s stock index — set an all time high on Thursday and continued its march higher in the wake of Donald Trump’s victory, up another 40 points to 18,847.

Traders said an ongoing crude and refined product supply overhang that has dogged markets for over two years was dragging on energy markets. But the rest of the U.S. stock market was still buoyed higher by the prospect of an all-Republican Congress, Senate and White House.

“Crude oil prices fell as the focus returned to supply growth. The IEA suggested prices may continue to retreat amid relentless supply growth unless OPEC makes significant supply cuts,” ANZ bank said on Friday.

The supply overhang could run into a third year in 2017 without an output cut from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, while escalating production from other exporters could lead to relentless supply growth, the International Energy Agency said on Thursday.

In its monthly oil market report, the group said global supply rose by 800,000 barrels per day (bpd) in October to 97.8 million bpd, led by record OPEC output and rising production from non-OPEC members such as Russia, Brazil, Canada and Kazakhstan.

In Africa, Nigeria is working out new oil and gas policies to attract more private investors and boost crude production by 500,000 bpd by 2020, state firm NNPC said on Thursday. The IEA kept its demand growth forecast for 2016 at 1.2 million bpd and expects consumption to increase at the same pace next year, having gradually slowed from a five-year peak of 1.8 million bpd in 2015.

Beyond oversupply, the initial shock of Donald Trump’s U.S. presidential election win also put pressure on prices, traders said. Because oil and refined products are traded in dollars, its import costs rise for any country using other currencies at home, potentially crimping demand.

Article source: http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/oil-markets-canadian-dollar-1.3846955?cmp=rss