Oil prices fall as U.S. stockpiles rise, but Middle East tensions support


15/5/2019 10:43:00
Print
     .

Oil fell on Wednesday after data showed a surprise rise in U.S. crude stockpiles and as Chinese industrial output grew less than expected in April, but prices were supported by mounting tensions in the Middle East.

 

Brent crude futures were at $71.06 a barrel at 0646 GMT, down 18 cents, or 0.3%, from their last close. Brent ended 1.4% higher on Tuesday.

 

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $61.33 per barrel, down 45 cents, or 0.7%, from their previous settlement. WTI closed up 1.2% in the previous session.

 

U.S. crude stockpiles unexpectedly rose last week, while gasoline and distillate inventories increased, data from industry group the American Petroleum Institute showed on Tuesday.

 

Crude inventories climbed by 8.6 million barrels in the week to May 10 to 477.8 million, compared with analyst expectations for a decrease of 800,000 barrels.

 

Crude stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub rose by 2.1 million barrels, the API said.

 

The U.S. Energy Department’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports official numbers later on Wednesday.

 

“If the EIA report confirms a strong build we could see that weigh on oil prices ... but too many geopolitical risks remain that should keep prices supported,” Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA told Reuters by email.

 

GRAPHIC: U.S. oil production & inventory levels - tmsnrt.rs/2WksBC7

 

Oil prices have drawn support after Saudi Arabia on Tuesday said armed drones struck two of its oil pumping stations, two days after the sabotage of oil tankers near the United Arab Emirates, while the U.S. military said it was braced for “possibly imminent threats to U.S. forces in Iraq” from Iran-backed forces.

 

The attacks took place against a backdrop of U.S.-Iranian tension following Washington’s decision this month to try to cut Iran’s oil exports to zero and to beef up its military presence in the Gulf in response to what it said were Iranian threats.

 

Meanwhile, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) on Tuesday said that world demand for its oil would be higher than expected this year as supply growth from rivals including U.S. shale producers slows. That points to a tighter market if the exporter group refrains from raising output.

 

Elsewhere, growth in China’s industrial output slowed more than expected to 5.4% in April from a 4-1/2 year high in March, reinforcing views that Beijing will have to roll out more stimulus measures as a trade war with the United States intensifies.

 

U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday called the trade war with China “a little squabble” and insisted talks between the world’s two largest economies had not collapsed.

 

“I think the markets are anxiously awaiting trade progress since the political damage of a catastrophic end of talks could cost President Trump re-election in 2020,” Moya said.

 

“Trump is motivated to make a deal happen and we should see a framework agreement reached by the G20 summit (next month),” he said.

 

 

PUKmedia \ Reuters


 

Sham Ahmed: A candidate for the European Union


A Kurdish girl nominated herself for a seat in the European Union and her nomination number is 13.

 

Sham Ahmed says “I was a little girl when I came from Kurdistan to Eu...


»  A Kurdish journalist is a candidate in municipal elections in Germany
»  UK.. First Kurdish mayor of the 'Lambeth' city
 

Bafel Talabani: Another intra-Kurdish conflict will not happen


Sulaymaniyah, Iraq - Over the past year, Iraq has seen a number of major political developments, including the fallout of the Kurdish independence referendum, the May national elections, and the Se...


»   Kurdish novelist Burhan Sonmez: ‘The only way out is to criticise loudly’
»  PUK delegation reveals the main topics of the meetings in Baghdad
 

Iraqi perspective of the US-Iran tension


The Middle East Research Institute’s Founder, Dlawer Ala'Aldeen issued a report about the latest developments of the tensions between the US and Iran that has been going on for a while now.
»  Breaking the Cycle of Shame in Iraq
»  US plans to deploy 120,000 troops in Middle East


Caricature