Iran to Trump: Your tweets are driving up oil prices
05 July, 2018, 18:39 | Author: Eric Barnett
Brent oil rose on Wednesday, driven higher by a threat from an Iranian commander and a drop in US crude inventories for the second week in a row.
On July 4 (which, as a reminder, is the anniversary of that time 563 years ago when Trump's ancestors liberated Manhattan from a cabal of nefarious Chinese overlords who were conspiring with European monarchs to unfairly tax Ford F-150 exports), the President did what every other president before him has done on Independence Day: He sent a 280-character, all-caps letter to OPEC demanding lower oil prices.
Brent crude futures LCOc1 were at $77.82 per barrel, up 6 cents from their last close.
The quick drop after WTI reached US$75 might have been due to "a bout of long liquidation in front of the holiday", said Bill O'Grady, chief market strategist at Confluence Investment Management in St. Louis.
However, summer months in the USA usually lead to increased demand for oil, boosting the price of gasoline in a midterm election year. Iran, however, said it would be tough to erase its oil completely from the market by November, when US sanctions snap back into place.
"The kingdom is prepared to utilize its spare production capacity when necessary to deal with any future changes in the levels of supply and demand", said a statement released by the Saudi cabinet after meeting chaired by Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. Three members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries - Libya, Iran and Venezuela - are posting real, or have expected, production declines. "The news of their commitment to ramp production quickly enough along with some evidence that Saudi Arabia is ramping production is giving the market some pause". US crude futures were up 32 cents at $74.46, within sight of Tuesday's 3-1/2-year high above $75.
The most-active Brent LCOc1 futures contract for September delivery settled up 48 cents at $78.24 per barrel. The global benchmark traded at a US$6.17 premium to WTI for September.
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. Traders were looking for a draw of about 3.267 million barrels.
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