Wednesday, 21 November, 2018

Oil prices fall as Donald Trump demands OPEC ‘reduce pricing now’

Oil prices fall as Donald Trump demands OPEC ‘reduce pricing now’ Oil prices fall as Donald Trump demands OPEC ‘reduce pricing now’
Russell Knight | 08 July, 2018, 07:59

Saudi Arabia had political reasons to respond positively to Trump's request, given its animosity to arch-rival Iran, which Trump is trying to bring to its knees through strict new sanctions.

The potential trade war between the United States and China comes amid a tight oil market.

Oil prices fell more than 1%, but held close to three-and-a-half year peaks.

An Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander warned that Iran might blockade the narrow, strategic Strait of Hormuz if Trump stopped oil exports, a move some considered unlikely since Iran's own imports pass through the Strait. Still, US officials continue to demand the world, including major Asian powers, stop buying from Iran.

"On China, India - yes, certainly". The outage at the 360,000 barrels per day (bpd) Syncrude facility in Canada has contributed to a sharp reduction in the discount for US crude versus Brent crude over the past month.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were at $74.60 a barrel at 0044 GMT, up 46 cents, or 0.6 percent, from their last settlement.

US President Donald Trump tweeted this week on Wednesday that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is "driving [fuel] prices high" and asked them to "REDUCE PRICING NOW".

This would already take it to record levels but Trump's suggestion of raising production to two million barrels per day would stretch Saudi Arabia to its absolute limit. High fuel prices drain money from consumers' pockets, hurting economic growth while adding to inflation. "Seems like this is sort of related to Trump tweets", said Stewart Glickman, energy equity analyst at CFRA Research in NY.

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Orange Line commuters rushed to the aid of a woman whose leg had gotten stuck in the five-inch gap between the train and the Mass. The unnamed woman was reluctant to go because she was anxious she couldn't afford medical treatment.

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The military responded with more security checks, and the Trump administration added to those, creating a backlog. A RAND Corp. study found that these recruits were generally more cost-effective than their native-born peers.

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"The problem with strong enforcement of sanctions on Iran, offset by increases in Saudi production, is that it will take global spare oil production capacity to zero".

Oil held near US$74 (RM299) a barrel amid estimates that United States crude inventories declined for a fourth week, compounding concerns that global markets are growing increasingly tight.

Over the short-run, Canada's production problems will go away and Libya's issue will probably be contained.

Venezuelan production fell to 1.36 million bpd by June, compared to just under 2.5 million bpd at the start of previous year, amid a structural underinvestment in the country.

Yuan-denominated futures were little changed at 497.6 yuan a barrel on the Shanghai International Energy Exchange, after losing 1.4% on Wednesday. Cutting prices can be seen as an indication that a country wants to supply more crude.

Total gasoline inventories decreased by 1.5 million barrels last week, according to the EIA, and remained about 6% above the five-year average range.

Iran's Petroleum Minister said US President Donald Trump has recently made "interfering" remarks on the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

Top Photo | Workers at an oil facility near Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

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