Oil prices decline amid rising U.S. inventories

Oil falls 2 percent on rising supply concern about trade tensions

Oil prices were steady on Friday, supported by traders placing new hedges in the futures market in anticipation of a decline in USA crude inventories, but held back from advancing by the prospect of rising global supplies.

The unexpected build in the USA crude stockpiles, as published by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Wednesday, keeps the sentiment around the barrel of WTI undermined.

USA crude inventories rose by 3.8 million barrels last week as exports declined, creating the largest increase in Gulf Coast stocks since March, the Energy Information Administration said. US Crude oil exports have fallen right off the table from last week's 2.7 million barrels per day to only 1.3 million barrels per day while clocking the slowest reading since April.

"There's an expectation that the build from this week will be gone next week", said Phil Flynn, an analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $68.87 per barrel at 0647 GMT, down 9 cents from their last settlement.

Futures reversed course after trading lower on concerns about oversupply early in the session.

The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries has said that crude oil production has gone up in July as Saudi Arabia pumped more volumes into the global market.

OIL traded near $68 a barrel after sliding for two consecutive sessions as rising United States inventories and higher output from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) and Russian Federation weighed on the market.

Johanna Konta loses to Elise Mertens at Silicon Valley Classic
She won four straight games in the second set to put pressure on Collins, and ultimately evened the match with a forehand victor . The 30-year-old will next face the victor of the match between eighth seed Yulia Putintseva and Svetlana Kuznetsova .

"Oil is holding up reasonably well. A lot of this is the risk premium priced in for Iran and when do we start seeing an impact on supply there", Patterson said. "The spread structure is back in contango, which suggests the market is well supplied so there's a mismatch in timing with OPEC now raising output", Warren Patterson, commodities strategist at ING, said.

US President Donald Trump's decision to pull out of an worldwide nuclear deal and reimpose sanctions on Iran has angered Tehran.

On Friday, the U.S. Department of Labor reported total non-farm payrolls increased 157,000 in July, lower than the net average gain of 203,000 over the last 12 months.

"A clear definition around the macros is what the market is looking for and until we get that, it is likely to be volatile in the range", said Jonathan Barratt, chief investment officer at Ayers Alliance in Sydney.

Meanwhile, trade war concerns have resurfaced again on reports the Trump administration is planning to propose a 25% tariff on goods worth over $200 billion imported from China, instead of the original proposal for a 10% levy.

Beijing plans to impose an additional 5% in tariffs on about 600 kinds of products including planes and computers, another 10% on nearly 1,000 products including wigs and textiles, an extra 20% on more than 1,000 items including some chemicals, cookers and paper, and an additional 25% on over 2,400 products such as meat, wheat, wine and LNG, according to the statement.

According to a Reuters poll earlier this week, 44 economists and analysts expect the US sanctions to take between 500,000 bpd and 1 million bpd of Iranian crude oil off the market. Kitco Metals Inc. and the author of this article do not accept culpability for losses and/ or damages arising from the use of this publication.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of Kitco Metals Inc. This article is strictly for informational purposes only.

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