Economy

Oil prices ease as Trump tweets warning at OPEC

Oil prices ease as Trump tweets warning at OPEC

Reuters reported that traders and investors have loaded up on bullish Brent oil bets this week, after signals that Saudi Arabia is in no rush to increase production, even with the price near United States dollars 80 and as buyers grow uneasy over the impact of U.S. sanctions on Iranian supply.

A pumpjack is seen at the Sinopec-operated Shengli oil field in Dongying, Shandong province, China January 12, 2017.

USA crude futures extended gains after the report, rising 86 cents to $70.72 a barrel by 10:53 a.m. EDT [14:53 GMT]. US light crude was down 9 cents at $71.03 a barrel after rising almost 2 percent on Wednesday.

For this year's April-September driving season, the EIA expects USA regular gasoline retail prices to average $2.87 a gallon, up 19% from a year ago, mostly due to expectations of higher crude oil prices.

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Brent has been trading just below $80/Bbl, near its highest price for nearly four years, on expectations USA sanctions against Iran, Opec's third biggest producer, will reduce supply in world markets.

At the same time, Trump will reimpose sanctions on Iran later this year as part of his decision to withdraw from the nuclear deal, potentially removing a significant oil supplier from the market.

US sanctions on Iran's oil exports come into force on November 4.

The comments come just ahead of this weekend's meeting of a committee monitoring the supply pact between OPEC, Russia and some other non-OPEC producers.

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Opec and its allies are scheduled to gather in Algeria on Sunday to discuss how to allocate higher supply to offset the shortage of Iranian supplies.

The meeting is unlikely to agree on an official rise in crude output, although pressure is mounting on top producers to prevent a spike in prices.

President Donald Trump blasted OPEC in a tweet Thursday morning, saying the Middle East wouldn't be safe without US military protection and yet, countries there continue to keep prices high.

A report last week by the U.S. Energy Information Administration makes this abundantly clear. Gordon Gray-HSBC's global head of oil and gas equity research-says that oil market assets are progressively more supportive for crude prices, at least presently. The mid-term elections on November 6 will determine if Republicans maintain control of both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.

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Criticising the President directly, she added: "He was going to have me cheat, and it was 100 percent his idea". Life-ruining as that may be (or, rather, Mario Kart-ruining), it doesn't exactly make Stormy Daniels Susan B.

Still, many traders and analysts expect Brent to move above $80 soon.


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