US Investors Extend Oil Bets as Trump Criticizes OPEC

Very solid foundation’ for extending oil deal Russia

US stock indexes fell on Friday, with Apple leading declines in the technology sector and as energy companies took a hit from lower oil prices after President Donald Trump's criticism on OPEC.

The prices of oil is nearing a high of three years, as it approaches $70 per barrel, and has been increasing since producers, both OPEC and non-OPEC, including Russian Federation, cut production in January of 2017 to end a worldwide oil glut and collapse in prices. "Oil prices are artificially Very High! No good and will not be accepted!"

Oil prices retreated from their highs following Trump's tweets: WTI crude was down 0.5 percent and Brent was 0.6 percent lower.

Bank stocks got a boost with USA ten-year Treasury yields, the benchmark for global borrowing costs, hitting a near two-month high of 2.9410 percent. Market participants also say increased USA production will spur oil processing, further brightening the economic outlook for President Trump's key constituencies. Asked whether he thought it was fair that the United States president was getting involved in Opec matters, he said jokingly: "Since when is it about fairness?"

"We do not have any price object, not as OPEC and not in this joint endeavor with non-OPEC".

UAE's Energy Minister Suhail Mohamed al-Mazrouei said prices were not artificially high.

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West Texas Intermediate for May delivery gained 9 cents, or 0.1 percent, to settle at $68.38 a barrel in NY. Rival Halliburton fell 0.3 percent.

"The countries involved in the reduction of oil production have shown a commitment to seeking a balance in the global oil market where the levels of the OECD's trade stock have been adjusted from a peak of 3.12 billion barrels in July 2016 to 2.83 billion barrels in March 2018, a decrease of 300 million barrels", Falih was quoted by Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

"I can not at the moment give you a precise answer because we do not have the full idea how the market is going to perform in the forthcoming months", Russian energy minister Alexander Novak told CNBC Friday when asked if Russia was committed to the 2018 cuts. Crude has rallied in recent weeks as output cuts from OPEC and its allies were compounded by heightened geopolitical risks, including the possibility of renewed US sanctions on Iran. The group is slated to meet in June to decide its next steps after reducing output since January 2017 in a move aimed at supporting prices that had fallen sharply.

"The agreement lasts until the end of the year". "I have not seen any impact on demand with current prices", Faleh told reporters, ahead of a ministerial committee for OPEC and non-OPEC producers.

There have also been reports lately that Saudi Arabia, the key member of the cartel, wants oil at $80 to $100 a barrel in order to boost the eventual initial public offering of its state oil company, Saudi Aramco.

Faleh on Friday insisted the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries does not have a price target for oil.

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