Published: Mon, September 24, 2018
Markets | By Erika Turner

US crude stockpiles fall for a fifth week to 2015 lows

US crude stockpiles fall for a fifth week to 2015 lows

Brent crude oil LCOc1 settled down 78 cents at $78.70 a barrel.

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.

Trump weighed into the debate on Thursday via Twitter, saying "The Opec monopoly must get prices down now!"

Crude oil prices moved in opposite directions Thursday morning as Brent was trending down and WTI trending up, both for different reasons.

Futures prices for West Texas Intermediate crude, the USA benchmark, dipped slightly following the tweet before recovering and then retreating once again to trade roughly flat.

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. "Refusing to step up production would mean going against the will of ally Trump, but giving in to Trump's demand would make it his accomplice, which could see Opec tested to the limit". "But we expect the tweets will come nonetheless as we head into the mid-terms".

Data from the InterContinental Exchange showed open interest in calls that give the owner the right to buy Brent futures at $80 and $85 by next week grew by almost 45 per cent on Monday and Tuesday to an equivalent of 54 million barrels of oil.

Klopp laughs off Salah's lack of goals
While last season all the praise was lavished on Liverpool's front three, so far it has been the midfield which has been winning all the plaudits.

Aside from the presidential tweets, pressure has been mounting on OPEC to increase production ahead of U.S. sanctions against Iran, which come into effect in November.

The U.S. sanctions were imposed by Trump in response to Iran's nuclear program, which the White House says is created to produce weapons, an allegation Tehran denies. "The producers that count are producing at will" and Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation are likely to boost output further, he said.

But allowing prices to rise too high could lead to a drop in oil consumption, with some already forecasting tepid growth in 2019 global demand.

Incumbents who face challengers in the upcoming USA mid-term elections have reasons to want oil prices - and in turn, gasoline prices at the pump - to be lower this fall, too.

Iran is already seeing many customers cut their purchases in advance of the sanctions deadline for fear of being hit with U.S. penalties.

"Brent is definitely fighting the $80 line, wanting to break above", said SEB Markets chief commodities analyst Bjarne Schieldrop.

Like this: