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Oil prices edge up on Iran sanctions, but trade tensions drag

15 August 2018
Oil prices edge up on Iran sanctions, but trade tensions drag

Global benchmark Brent crude traded at around $72.80 on Friday morning, little changed from the previous session, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) stood at $67.43, down around 0.3 percent.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 32 cents, or 0.5 percent, at $67.52 per barrel.

Oil prices moved sharply lower on Monday after data suggested inventories at the US crude delivery hub rose in the latest week, compounding worries that troubled emerging markets and trade tensions will dent the outlook for fuel demand. Analysts say it has already hit several emerging market currencies, including the South African rand, Russian ruble, and Mexican peso.

It also said that trade friction between the U.S. and China was unlikely to have much impact on global oil demand growth, unless the rifts spread beyond those two nations.

The decision came after the United States President, Donald Trump, urged the group to act in order to prevent further increases, even amid looming American sanctions on Iran, OPEC's third-largest producer.

However, OPEC ran out the prospect that trade spat between the United States and China to have much impact on the world's oil demand, unless the rifts reach beyond the world's largest two economies.

Some have predicted that Iranian output could drop to as low as 700,000 barrels per day (bpd), from 2 million bpd.

"Since mid-July, the front month Brent crude oil contract has".

USA energy companies last week added the most oil rigs since May, adding 10 rigs to bring the total count to 869, according to the Baker Hughes energy services firm. Iran is OPEC's third-largest oil producer - behind Saudi Arabia and Iraq - and now pumps around 3.65 million barrels per day, according to Reuters data.

Economists, analysts, and investment banks haven't fundamentally altered their assumptions for global economic growth and oil demand growth, but they all warn that trade disputes are adding yet another-quite bearish-wild card to watch for in oil price trends.

In direct communications with OPEC, Saudi Arabia reported that its monthly crude production slipped by 201,000 bpd in July, meaning that it pumped 10.288 million bpd last month - lower than the 10.387 million bpd figure secondary sources compiled by OPEC show.