Top exporter Saudi Arabia told Opecit raised oil output by nearly 500,000 barrels per day last month, Opecsources said, a sign Riyadh wants to make up for shortages elsewhere and dampen prices. The bank said that USA efforts to block Iran from exporting oil would make it hard for OPEC to meet supply demands, forcing prices to rise.
Iranian OPEC Governor Hossein Kazempour Ardebili claimed Thursday Trump's tweets are putting upward pressure on prices.
Oil held near $74 a barrel as President Donald Trump's tweet urging OPEC to pump more to temper prices did little to assuage concerns over a global crude supply crunch. Any time there's talk of increased production or even a suggestion, prices tend to go down.
"The more that Saudi Arabia adds to the market, the less of a supply cushion we have - that's a bullish twist to a bearish development", said Yawger at Mizuho.
Renewed U.S. sanctions on Iranian oil appear set to tighten supplies further.
Before oil took a swift downturn in mid-2014, the price of Brent crude had in the years prior traded consistently above $100 per barrel.
Data released Thursday by the US Department of Energy showed stockpiles unexpectedly higher: up by 1.25 million barrels in the week to June 29 rather than the 3.54 million fall expected by analysts.
Search for source of second United Kingdom poisonings may take months
Two people in their 40s fall ill at a property in Muggleton Road in Amesbury, about eight miles to the north of Salisbury. Police said tests were ongoing to discover what sickened the two people in the latest case of a suspected poisoning.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were down 37 cents, or 0.5 per cent, at 73.77 dollars per barrel.
China's customs agency said on its website that Chinese tariffs on US goods, likely including crude oil supplies which have soared over the last two years, will take effect immediately after USA tariffs on China goods kick in.
Trump indirectly linked US foreign policy to his demand, saying the USA defends some oil producing countries "for very little" money.
In late morning trading, the price of the worldwide benchmark Brent grade of crude oil was little changed at $77.85 a barrel. While Trump says he wants lower oil prices, U.S. sanctions against OPEC members Iran and Venezuela are adding uncertainty to the market, causing prices to spike. Analysts had expected a 4.4 million barrel drawdown.
The United Arab Emirates is ready to help alleviate possible oil shortages and Opec will aim to adhere to the group's "overall conformity levels", said UAE Energy Minister Suhail al-Mazrouei, who holds the Opec presidency for 2018.
USA markets also garnered support from a government employment report showing better-than-expected growth in jobs. "REDUCE PRICING NOW!" Trump wrote on Twitter.
Last month, Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation agreed to increase production and the USA continues to produce at record levels, however, unless there is a drop in demand, it appears we are headed toward a supply deficit later this year.