Oil prices fall as Trump demands OPEC 'reduce pricing now'

Oil prices fall as Trump demands OPEC 'reduce pricing now'

Oil prices fall as Trump demands OPEC 'reduce pricing now'

The Trump administration's initial announcement that the U.S. expects all Iranian oil imports to stop within just four months roiled markets across the world and set even American allies on edge.

"The OPEC monopoly must remember that gas prices are up and they are doing little to help..."

Brent crude futures were at $77.82 per barrel, up 6 cents from their last close.

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

Oil prices edged up on Wednesday, lifted by a report of declining US fuel inventories amid the ongoing crude supply outage at Syncrude Canada in Alberta, which usually supplies the United States.

Oil was mixed on Friday, with short-covering pushing up US crude futures while Brent slipped on global trade tensions and increased Saudi production.

"This must be a two way street", he wrote, adding in block capitals, "REDUCE PRICING NOW!"

Similarly, the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) report indicated that Saudi Arabia raised oil output by nearly 500,000 barrels per day last month.

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Output cuts by OPEC and allies since January 2017 have reduced a crude glut. "Looming U.S. sanctions on Iran, however, are causing serious concerns amongst market players".

Saudi Arabia has wanted to sell shares in Aramco to bring in foreign investment to diversify its economy, but legal concerns about listing in places like London or NY have presented complications.

OPEC and other producers including Russian Federation agreed last month to boost output by around a million barrels a day, reversing course after supply cuts that cleared a global glut and boosted prices.

Goldman Sachs said the market will stay in deficit in the second half of the year as actual and potential supply losses from Iran, Venezuela, Libya and Canada far exceed the proposed boost from Opec and its partners.

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 towards a full-blown trade conflict.

Of course OPEC is "manipulating" the price of oil - that's precisely why OPEC was created - it's virtually the definition of what a cartel DOES.

Outside North America, looming US sanctions against major oil exporter Iran were the focus of attention.

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