Published: Mon, August 06, 2018
Economy | By Shawn Conner

Oil trades higher after two days of heavy losses

Oil trades higher after two days of heavy losses

West Texas Intermediate crude for September delivery fell to as low as $66.92 per barrel and traded at $67.35 on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 8:57am local time.

Prices had tumbled to a six-week. Analysts polled by Reuters had expected a decline of 2.8 million barrels.

Traders are also watching rising output from OPEC and its allies following their June accord to increase supply, having faced acute pressure from the U.S. President, Donald Trump, to calm oil prices.

Oil prices tanked earlier this week when the US government reported that USA inventories rose 3.8 million barrels in the prior week, against expectations, but rose on Thursday on expectations the stockpile would soon decline again.

Futures in NY dropped 1.6 percent on Wednesday.

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The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Wednesday reported a large build in crude oil inventories and a production decline in the week ending July 27.

According to two officials, the USA hasn't been able to persuade China to reduce Iranian oil purchases, but Beijing has reportedly agreed not to increase its oil imports from Iran, Bloomberg reports.

Oil prices are feeling the effects of ongoing tensions over global trade, with markets concerned about any slowdown in growth around the world. "Yet, we remain much more concerned about the ongoing USA sanctions on Iran", analysts at Bank of America Merrill Lynch said in a research note published last week.

In comments to Kuwait's Al-Rai newspaper, Rashidi said, "We are reaching a very stable stage for the crude market, whether for producers or consumers".

Crude stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub fell by 1.3 million barrels, EIA said.

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OIL traded near $68 a barrel after sliding for two consecutive sessions as rising U.S. inventories and higher output from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) and Russian Federation weighed on the market.

Low stocks were still providing a floor as overall US crude inventories are below the 5-year average of around 420 million barrels.

Meanwhile, Russia boosted its oil production in July to just below the post-Soviet record set in October 2016, Energy Minister Alexander Novak said. Total volume traded was about 30 percent below the 100-day average.

A higher crude output from the Saudis, along with Nigeria and Iraq, pushed up total production from the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries by 300,000bpd, offsetting losses from a spiraling economic collapse in Venezuela, political clashes in Libya and the onset of United States sanctions against Iran.

"Under different scenarios, Iranian supplies could drop as much as 0.8 million barrels per day".

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