Oil drops 1.6%, settling at $72.94, after rise in U.S. crude stockpiles

Oil drops 1.6%, settling at $72.94, after rise in U.S. crude stockpiles

Oil drops 1.6%, settling at $72.94, after rise in U.S. crude stockpiles

August West Texas Intermediate crude, the US benchmark, on the New York Mercantile Exchange, fell 55 cents, or 0.8 percent to $72.39 a barrel. The Trump administration's initial announcement that the USA expects all Iranian oil imports to stop within just four months roiled markets across the world and set even American allies on edge. "Looming U.S. sanctions on Iran, however, are causing serious concerns amongst market players".

Brent crude futures LCOc1 were at $77.78 per barrel at 0137 GMT, down 46 cents, or 0.6 percent, from their last close.

Recent price rises have also been spurred by a US announcement that it plans to re-introduce sanctions against Iran from November, targeting oil exports.

NAB said its oil price forecasts "point to Brent spending the next few months largely in the mid-to-high $70s (per barrel) range, although meaningful OPEC-Russia output increases could push prices lower later in the year and higher United States shale production should impose an upside limit on WTI".

"The more that Saudi Arabia adds to the market, the less of a supply cushion we have - that's a bullish twist to a bearish development", said Yawger at Mizuho.

Trump urged Saudi Arabia to pump more oil.


U.S. crude inventories probably declined by 5 million barrels last week, according to a Bloomberg survey. The American Petroleum Institute, an industry body, was said to report that stockpiles fell by 4.51 million barrels.

"The OPEC Monopoly must remember that gas prices are up & they are doing little to help", Trump wrote on his personal Twitter account.

In response, Iranian oil official Hossein Kazempour Ardebili said that Trump should stop tweeting because his statements have pushed oil prices up by about US$10 a barrel, according to Oil Ministry news service, Shana. "Because the oil market is already in tight supply due to the numerous outages, this would drive worldwide prices (Brent) further up", Commerzbank said in a note.

Oil fell on Thursday after USA government data showed an unexpected build in crude oil stockpiles.

The EU, once Iran's biggest oil importer, has promised to try keep the 2015 nuclear deal alive without the United States by trying to keep oil and investment flowing.

US tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese imports took effect as a deadline passed on Friday and Beijing has vowed to respond immediately in kind, setting the two world's biggest economies on a path toward a full-blown trade conflict.

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