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Oil markets volatile as trade conflict between USA and China escalates

09 July 2018

"REDUCE PRICING NOW!" Trump tweeted on Wednesday, demanding that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries do more to help reduce United States gasoline costs.

Mr. Trump on Wednesday accused the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) of driving up fuel prices.

Crude-oil prices retreated early Friday and were on track to book a weekly loss for the first time in three weeks, a day after the US benchmark contract suffered its lowest settlement in more than a week amid signs of rising production in Saudi Arabia and protracted trade tensions between the United States and China, according to monitored reports. "This must be a two way street, REDUCE PRICING NOW!"

Saudi Arabia has told OPEC it pumped 10.488 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil last month, an increase of 458,000 bpd from the level it said it produced in May, OPEC sources told Reuters.

Oil prices edged up on Wednesday following a report of tightening USA fuel inventories amid an outage at Syncrude Canada oil sands facility in Alberta, which usually supplies the United States. It went down when USA shale producers started pumping more, taking advantage of the higher price. "We also expect Venezuelan production to decline a further 150,000 bbl/d towards year-end, with risks still skewed to the downside", Bjørnar Tonhaugen, vice president of oil market research at Rystad Energy, said.

Ousted Pakistani PM Sharif sentenced to 10 years in prison
The deposed prime minister's daughter further said that Sharif had chosen his path despite knowing it was not easy to tread on it. Sharif and Maryam are now in London visiting Kulsoom, who is suffering from cancer and is undergoing treatment there.

Recent price rises have also been spurred by a USA announcement that it plans to re-introduce sanctions against Iran from November, which will also target its oil industry.

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

West Texas Intermediate crude for August delivery traded at $73.86 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, down 28 cents, at 3:01 pm in Singapore.

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

As well as declines in nationwide stockpiles, inventories in the key US storage hub of Cushing, Oklahoma, shrank by 2.6 million barrels, the API was said to report. The U.S. market will not have a settlement price due to the U.S. Independence Day holiday.

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Trump said Thursday that Tester showed his "true colours with shameful, dishonest attacks" on White House physician Ronny Jackson. Maxine Waters of California, who has called for confronting administration staffers over issues like family separation.

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.

Investors had questions as "to whether Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation could or would really be able to ramp production quickly enough", said Rob Haworth, who helps oversee US$151 billion at U.S. Bank Wealth Management in Seattle. An explosion at a transformer station at the Syncrude oil facility in Canada, meanwhile, could idle about 350,000 barrels of oil per day until the end of July. While Trump says he wants lower oil prices, USA sanctions against OPEC members Iran and Venezuela are adding uncertainty to the market, causing prices to spike.

Trump claims Saudi Arabia agreed to oil production hike, Riyadh doesn't confirm Donald Trump has asked Saudi Arabia to drastically increase its oil production, citing "turmoil and dysfunction" in Iran and Venezuela.

Benchmark Brent crude oil was up 50 cents at US$77.80.

Pompeo to travel to N Korea for talks with Kim Jong
He then told Fox News that his North Korean counterpart is "strong", "funny", "smart" and a "great negotiator". There have been reports Kim's regime has failed to honor its denuclearization pledge after the meeting .

Oil markets volatile as trade conflict between USA and China escalates