OPEC's decision to cede no ground to rival producers underscored the price war in the crude market and the challenge to U.S. shale drillers. The 12-nation group abandoned its role as a swing producer, ignoring the steepest slump in oil prices since the global recession to keep its output target unchanged.
Oil ministers from Kuwait and Algeria dismissed possible production cuts as crude’s slump to a four-year low prompted Venezuela to call for an emergency meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.
While most analysts and investors expect Venezuela and its state-owned oil company to make $5.3 billion in bond payments coming due next month, concern is mounting the country may find itself without enough cash to service debt as soon as next year as foreign reserves drop to an 11-year low.
Commodities fell to a nine-month low, led by the worst plunge in gold since 1980, and global stocks slid the most since June as China’s economic growth unexpectedly slowed and investors speculated hedges against inflation were unneeded.