Falling oil prices continued to dominate news headlines in December and early January. Both the WTI and Brent contracts slumped to 5½ year lows as bearish demand data triggered further selling pressure.
During December, both OPEC and the International Energy Agency revised down oil demand growth estimates for FY2015. The OPEC demand revisions came just a few weeks after its decision to maintain production at 30 mb/d – which caught some market participants by surprise. The bearish tone continued into the early part of 2015 with both the ICE Brent and NYMEX WTI contracts falling below $50/b.