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Oil Gains as US-Saudi Talks Raise Risk of Iranian Crude Curbs
22 March 2018, 01:30 | Tara Lloyd
Brent hits six-week high as US-Saudi talks raise risk for Iran
Although Venezuela has been on the analytical community's warning radar for several years now, the more immediate impact on crude seems to be from the Middle East, due to the Saudis on Monday calling the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers a "flawed agreement" in advance of a meeting between Mohammed bin Salman, crown prince of Saudi Arabia, and the similarly-minded US president Donald Trump.
Note: The news says an anticipation of 2.556-M bbl in Crude Oil inventories, a discrepancy of over 5-M bbl.
Stimulated by yesterday's surprise crude stockpiles decline estimated by API, at 2.74 million barrels, WTI today traded at US$64.24 at the time of writing, with Brent crude at US$67.97 a barrel.
"Geopolitical risks and uncertainties are rising in the market as the USA and Saudi Arabia share the same interest, which is isolating Iran", Will Yun, a commodities analyst at Hyundai Futures Corp., said by phone in Seoul.
But even though Tuesday's market performance was more in line with trading activity in 2018 as a whole, the price discrepancy between WTI and Brent worries Matt Stanley, a fuel broker at Freight Investor Services International. Government inventory data is due on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. EDT (1430 GMT). Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is now touring the United States and will meet with US President Trump later today.
"There's an expectation that (Trump and Prince Mohammed) are going to take a harder line on Iran, and that's bringing prices up", said Phil Flynn, a senior energy analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago.
Similar events may happen in the coming year as Chinese economic growth continues to slow, but their duration and effect on oil prices remains subject to the prevailing anchors in the oil market.
However, increased output in the United States, Canada and Brazil has capped oil price gains. A widening discount of WTI to Brent crude makes it more attractive for foreign refiners to process US oil. With the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies concluding that the market will re-balance by the end of September, Citigroup Inc. predicts oil's recent "sideways" move is unlikely to last. Brent crude is now above $66.50.
West Texas Intermediate for May delivery added 6 cents to $63.60 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 2:24 p.m.in Singapore. April heating oil rose 2.4% to $1.952 a gallon.
Isle Of Wight Weather Warning Upgraded For Snow And Ice
The forecaster said: "Outbreaks of showery rain across north-Leinster and Ulster this morning will slowly clear through the day". Have a happy (and safe) St Patrick's weekend! "Highs of only 1C to 3C in the eastern half of the country, 4C to 6C in the west".
Israeli forces detain 19 Palestinians in overnight raids
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North American 2026 World Cup Bid Confirms 23 Host Cities
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PM Justin Trudeau to tour Evraz Steel
However, he said, Canada would be alert to that and work with industry partners and the Americans to make sure that didn't happen. U.S. tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum would be "very harmful" for industry and workers in both countries, he added .
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