It finally happened. For the first time since 2008, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) agreed to a crude oil production cut last week, renewing hope among producers and investors that prices can begin to recover in earnest after a protracted two-year slump, one of the worst in living memory.
The last three times the cartel agreed to trim output—in 2008, 2001 and 1998—oil rallied in the following weeks and months. Of course, there’s no guarantee the same will happen this time around, as other market forces are at play, but it’s helpful to look at the historical precedent.
OPEC’s decision follows a strong endorsement from Goldman Sachs, which upgraded its rating on basic materials to overweight for the first time in four years. Analysts see commodities gaining 9 percent on average over the next three months, 11 percent over the next six months.
As reported by TheStreet’s Paul Whitfield, Goldman’s change of heart was prompted by “the recent acceleration in global PMIs (purchasing managers’ indexes),” which “suggests commodity markets are entering a cyclically stronger environment.”
The JPMorgan Global Manufacturing PMI rose slightly in November to a 27-month high of 52.1, extending sector expansion for the sixth straight month—very encouraging news.