Crude prices down on reports of possible increase in OPEC production

MID-DAY: Oil continues to slump on reports of higher production; North Korea US tensions weight Wall Street

U.S. Pushes for Lower Oil Prices as OPEC Mulls Production Boost

"The large rise in crude oil inventories made for a bearish report, and it came as a result of decent sized drop in exports, along with a large increase in imports", said John Kilduff, a partner at Again Capital LLC in NY.

Oil prices have gained almost 20 percent so far this year, with Brent briefly rising above $80, driven primarily by coordinated supply cuts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and partners including Russian Federation.

Week over week, USA crude oil exports fell by 818,000 barrels a day, and US production rose by 2,000 barrels a day to 10.73 million.

Both Brent and WTI oil contracts remain near the multi-year highs they have hit recently.

Venezuela's output has fallen amid an economic crisis, while Iran's supply is threatened by USA sanctions. Currently, the price is sitting right on the neckline and a break under it could be the trigger that begins a drop down towards the main support line, currently at $76.45.

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The deal, which has been extended until the end of 2018, has led to that glut disappearing and prices have recovered from around $30 per barrel to around $80.

Benchmark Brent futures were down $1.08 at $78.72 a barrel by 1118 GMT, its largest one-day fall since May 8, while USA crude futures dropped 86 cents to $70.98 a barrel.

Brent crude futures rose to $80.41 a barrel, by 11:12 a.m. EDT (1512 GMT). Traders also pointed to deals on the USA swap data repository as indicative of an heightened consumer activity.

"Stephen Innes, head of trading for Asia-Pacific at futures brokerage OANDA in Singapore, said that prices were getting some support from talk that Sinopec, Asia's largest refiner, would increase USA crude oil imports to a record high".

Oil futures were lower Wednesday after US Energy Information Administration data showed a surprise build in US crude stocks last week driven by higher imports and lower exports.

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Septembers ' contractual price on oil on the Shanghai worldwide energy exchange (INE) on Friday have decreased on 1,1% - to 479,9 yuan per barrel.

Domestic production edged up to 10.725 million barrels per day from 10.723 million bpd in the prior week, EIA said. At the same time, the price of Brent crude increased last Friday by 0.2%.

Swiss investment bank UBS reportedly warns there could be an oil price spike to $100 that triggers a US recession.

Saudi Arabia and other major OPEC producers could in theory add more supply, but have yet to do so.

US crude stockpiles are forecast to have declined by 2.8 million barrels last week, which would be the third straight weekly fall.

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