Crude Flat as China Tariffs Targets US Oil Products

Dwayne Harmon
August 26, 2018

US West Texas Intermediate crude futures were up 28 cents, or 0.4%, at $66.12 per barrel.

The strength of the greenback has an inverse relationship to the price of crude oil.

After fading into the print, WTI rebounded after API reported a bigger than expected crude draw.

Options activity showed some traders were guarding against the possibility of a sharp slide in USA crude prices.

Refinery crude runs slipped 89,000 barrels per day from the previous week's record high to 17.9 million bpd, EIA data showed.

By October, Nigerian oil supply is projected to hit a three-month high with a total of 38 cargoes, derived from daily loadings averaging 1.12 million barrels.

LONDON-Oil prices ticked up Wednesday morning, boosted by signs of declining US petroleum inventories.

The West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for October delivery price increased by 2.02 USA dollars, or 3.07 percent, to settle at 67.86 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for October delivery increased by 2.15 dollars, or 2.96 percent, to settle at 74.78 dollars a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.

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A weaker USA dollar makes oil, which is priced in dollars, less expensive to buyers in other currencies.

Despite the logistics changes, China, the largest Iranian oil buyer, has said it won't halt purchases as requested by the U.S. India, the second biggest purchaser of Iranian crude, has also adapted to the changes, contracting NITC to carry and deliver its supplies.

"The Iran issue continues to occupy traders' minds", said Greg McKenna, chief market strategist at futures brokerage AxiTrader.

But prices have come down since then in the wake of plans by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and partner producers like Russian Federation to begin ramping up crude output after more than a year of holding back production.

Opec has started to boost supplies following a deal with Russian Federation and other allies in June, although producers have been cautious so far.

Due to the geo-political turmoil, with the US-China trade war and the rising tensions in Turkey pushing down emerging markets, oil has seen its seventh straight week of declines.

Official data from the US Energy Information Administration is due 2:30pm GMT on Wednesday.

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