Oil to hold steady into 2019 as OPEC, US compensate…

Oil markets still pressured by persistent risk of oversupply

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The commodity fell further once USA inventory figures showed a significant jump in crude oil inventories. Most analysts surveyed by Bloomberg forecast government data due Wednesday will show an inventory loss.

Oil slipped below $74 a barrel on Wednesday pressured by an industry report that United States stockpiles of crude rose unexpectedly and by higher Opec production, adding to indications of more ample supply.

He said oil prices, which Trump has been pressuring the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to bring down by raising output, will rise unless the United States grants waivers to buyers of Iranian crude.

Oil prices rose on Monday, with USA crude futures jumping more than 2 percent, as traders continued to focus on supply disruptions and a possible hit to crude output from US sanctions on Iran.

Analysts believe that stocks fell by 2.8 million barrels, or by 0.7 percent, to 402.1 million barrels.

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September Brent crude futures fell 25 cents, or 0.3%, to $US74.29 a barrel in Europe, while September West Texas Intermediate crude futures dropped 92 cents, or 1.3%, to $US68.69 a barrel in NY.

Crude has declined about 6% this month, as simmering trade tensions between the US and China push prices lower at a time when American shale output continues to surge. Looming U.S. sanctions have already started to cut Iranian exports.

Yesterday, the commodity fell sharply after private data from the American Petroleum Institute showed a larger-than-expected build in USA crude stocks. September WTI fell 92 cents, or 1.32%, to settle at $$68.69 a barrel, for a weekly gain of 0.6%.

Fundamental News: Baker Hughes reported that the number of rigs searching for oil increased by 3 to 861 in the week ending July 27th.

According to AAA, the current national average pump price per gallon of regular gasoline is $2.869, up more than two cents from $2.846 a week ago and more than a penny higher compared with the month-ago price.

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Oil prices are also being pressured by concern that global trade tensions could crimp economic growth. OPEC, plus Russian Federation and other allies, decided in June to ease supply cuts in place since 2017.

It showed OPEC members boosted output in July by 70,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 32.64 million bpd, a high for the year.

Yemen's Houthi group said it was ready to unilaterally halt attacks in the Red Sea to support peace efforts.

Saudi Arabia suspended oil supplies across the strait last week after Houthis attacked two Saudi oil tankers.

The market largely overlooked reports that US and China may restart negotiations to defuse the trade war between the two countries.

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"The market is facing different questions - Is global demand slowing due to weakening worldwide economic growth, will US production keep up its incredible pace, will output in Venezuela keep plummeting, what will USA sanctions do to Iranian production, and is OPEC really willing to raise output up to 1 mbpd!"

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