U.S. President Donald Trump again accuses the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries of driving gas prices higher on Twitter on Wednesday. His latest was a reminder that the U.S. defends many OPEC members for "very little" money. He added, "This must be a two way street".
Saudi Arabia told the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries that it increased production by nearly 500,000 barrels per day last month.
"With contentious midterm U.S. elections looming, the President continues to strong-arm Saudi Arabia to increase oil supplies which, at least for now, is containing price action below WTI $75 per barrel", said Stephen Innes, Head of Trading for Asia/Pacific at futures brokerage OANDA.
Iranian OPEC Governor Hossein Kazempour Ardebili claimed Thursday Trump's tweets are putting upward pressure on prices.
Trump in an earlier tweet and in an interview on Fox News last Sunday said he wanted oil exporters to provide an additional 2 million barrels a day of production. Any time there's talk of increased production or even a suggestion, prices tend to go down.
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If Gulf countries do not increase oil outputs to cover the shortfall left by Iran, America may not defend them, US President Donald Trump has warned in a tweet.
USA light crude settled up 20 cents at US$74.14 a barrel, rebounding from a session low of US$72.73 a barrel.
Data released Thursday by the US Department of Energy showed stockpiles unexpectedly higher: up by 1.25 million barrels in the week to June 29 rather than the 3.54 million fall expected by analysts.
On Tuesday, crude closed near 78 dollars per barrel, driven higher by a sharp drop in USA inventories and the expectation of more drivers hitting the road for the July 4 holiday.
Crude oil prices in recent days have hit their highest levels since late 2014.
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(So it's unclear how much effect Trump's morning tweet will have anyway.) On top of all that, Trump's decision to sanction Iran's supplies, and his generally hardline stance against the country, add to market worries.
Chinese stocks fell sharply on Tuesday, with equity markets in Asia near nine-month lows as investors fear the Sino-U.S. trade row could derail a rare period of synchronized global growth.
Traders said supply disruptions could be short-lived as Opec and allied producers ramp up output.
Trump might have good reason to worry about gasoline prices being used against him and his fellow Republicans.
Meanwhile, Royal Dutch Shell's boss has said it will be "foolhardy" for the oil and gas producer to set hard targets to reduce carbon emissions as it risked exposing the energy giant to legal challenges.
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The UAE on Tuesday said it will increase production by 0.2 million barrels per day to 3.5mbpd by the end of 2018 to help meet any oil shortage and will also adhere to the conformity level. The American Petroleum Institute was said to report that inventories dropped by 4.51 million barrels last week, while a Bloomberg survey also estimated a decline.