Oil edges lower as supply concerns return

Crude Oil Prices Swing on Supply Concerns July Support Remains

A worker holds a nozzle to pump petrol into a vehicle at a fuel station in Mumbai, India, May 21, 2018.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were down 27 cents at $68.69 a barrel by 10:45 a.m. EDT (1445 GMT). Brent crude futures were at $73.15 a barrel, down 30c from their last close. Worldwide monetary leaders have indicated a full-blown trade war would have an overall negative impact on the global economy, raising the prices of many consumer goods.

China's International United Petroleum and Chemicals (Unipec) has also suspended purchases of USA crude amid the growing trade row, sources said.

"Chinese demand from the independent refiners is also lower while the escalating trade war also doesn't help sentiment".

"It is unclear that the higher tariffs proposed by the Trump Administration will ever be imposed and if they are that they will have a major detrimental impact on oil demand", Flynn said.

Oil prices went down on Wednesday after official data showed that US crude oil inventories increased despite the fact that the analysts were expecting a draw.

Jeffrey Lord: Koch Brothers Suffering From Trump Derangement Syndrome
The President amped up his attacks on the Koch brothers this week after he was criticized at a Koch network summer meeting. The Koch network, which includes dozens of like-minded donors, has promoted lower taxes, less regulation and free trade.

Elsewhere, the U.S. Commerce Department reported an increase in the U.S. trade deficit, reversing course from May for the largest spike in more than a year.

Russian Federation and key OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) members such as Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have all increased production recently, trying to help compensate for a potential decline in Iranian crude supplies once planned USA sanctions take effect later this year.

The oil market is set to tighten further before the end of this year - a sign that OPEC's early response to boost supply may not be enough to offset a significant (possibly 1 million bpd barrel) loss of crude oil supply from Iran, Helima Croft, RBC Capital Markets global head of commodity strategy, told CNBC on Friday.

"Tariffs look set to kick in as soon as September, meaning that any barrels arriving on Chinese shores will be hit with a 25% tariff - taking USA crude from an approximately $4/Bbl discount vs. global benchmarks, to a premium of approximately $13.50/Bbl", he added. But there were concerns about potential stockpile builds as supply returns from a Canadian production facility that has been shuttered. The rig count can be a forward-looking indicator of production.

Oil prices were down on Friday as the market refocused on bearish longer term factors following a bounce in the previous session as United States crude inventories in a key hub fell to their lowest in almost four years.

The speculator group cut its combined futures and options position in NY and London by 5,287 contracts to 407,001 during the week ending July 31, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) said on Friday.

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