Oil's in a bear market

The markets have been preoccupied with a flurry of political headlines over the past few months such as Brexit and the US presidential election.

But in the background of all this, there has been a stealth slump in crude oil prices.

Both front-month WTI crude and Brent crude prices have fallen by over 20% since their early-June peak of $51.23 per barrel and $52.51 per barrel, respectively.

A drop of over 20% is considered to be a bear market.

A few months ago, around May, analysts attributed the surge in oil prices to various production outages including attacks on infrastructure by the Niger Delta Avengers and the wildfires in Canada.

But here’s where oil prices were as of 10:24 a.m. ET on Friday. Front-month WTI crude prices are trading at about $40.67 a barrel:

Meanwhile, front-month Brent prices are trading around $41.94 a barrel:

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