Oil mixed as USA crude stockpiles rise unexpectedly

Robyn Valdez
July 9, 2018

The president said the US defends many OPEC member states, insinuating that as a returned favor, these nations should cave to Washington's demands.

Members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed last month to add 1 million more barrels to the global crude supply daily, with the goal of helping rein in energy prices.

"With contentious midterm USA elections looming, the President continues to strong-arm Saudi Arabia to increase oil supplies which, at least for now, is containing price action below WTI $75 per barrel", said Stephen Innes, Head of Trading for Asia/Pacific at futures brokerage OANDA. Iran's OPEC Governor Hossein Kazempour Ardebili said in a statement, according to the country's Shana news agency.

Trump in an earlier tweet and in an interview on Fox News last Sunday said he wanted oil exporters to provide an additional 2 million barrels a day of production. "Please stop using this method".

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He said Trump had in fact made the U.S. a hostage to Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia as a result of his campaign to undermine Iran's oil exports, stressing that the USA president should have expected this when he moved to block Iran's access to global markets. The kingdom faces intense political pressure as prices reach levels that threaten economic growth, and as American sanctions on Iranian oil exports require replacement barrels to prevent a supply squeeze. Brent crude futures were up 11c at $78.35 a barrel.

US crude inventories fell by 4.5 million barrels in the week to June 29 to 416.9 million barrels, according to the American Petroleum Institute (API) on Tuesday.

USA crude futures were up 19 cents at $74.33 a barrel, within sight of Tuesday's 3-1/2-year high above $75 a barrel.

Zanganeh said Trump's anti-OPEC remarks are the causes of the increase in the prices in the oil market over the past days.

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Mounting worldwide isolation in Venezuela, one of the founding members of OPEC, as well as USA sanctions pressure has pushed its oil production to historic lows.

Kazempour Ardebili said Trump was trying to intensify tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia and he called on the United States to join world powers in a meeting with Iran in Vienna on Friday.

Net U.S. crude imports rose last week by 1.4 million barrels per day.

At the same time, Trump wants countries around the world to stop buying Iranian crude oil - a key part of his decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal and reimpose sanctions. "REDUCE PRICING NOW!" he added. "These are, however, no normal times as supply outages are nearly weekly occurrences", PVM Oil Associates strategist Tamas Varga said. This is a more harsh response than many analysts expected and, if it was to happen, could leave the global market undersupplied.

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Oil was mixed on Friday, with short-covering pushing up US crude futures while Brent slipped on global trade tensions and increased Saudi production.

Other reports by Info About Network

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