Oil holds gain as Iran concerns counter bearish U.S. rigs report

Saudi Arabia reins in oil production as demand forecasts waver

Trump administration pressure on Tehran forces Iran to start selling discounted oil

The EIA reported that at 414.2 million barrels, USA crude oil inventories are a bit above the five-year average for the season.

OIL traded near US$68 a barrel after Iran ruled out talks with the U.S., heightening concerns over global supply and countering fears of wider market turmoil from a crisis in Turkey.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down 23 cents, or 0.3 percent, at $66.81 per barrel. Some oil bulls are preparing for oil prices of US$150 and even US$200, Reuters reported yesterday, citing prominent hedge fund manager Pierre Andurand and Jean-Louis Mee, chief executive of Westbeck Capital.

Benchmark Brent crude oil settled 74 cents higher at $US72.96 a barrel.

Escalating trade disputes have dimmed the outlook for economic growth and boosted the dollar, making oil more expensive for consumers using other currencies. "The recent U.S. dollar strength couldn't go unnoticed by our model which is now suggesting that the purchasing power of key oil consumers is getting eroded by the day", he added.

Elon Musk accused of making false statements - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona
Investment bankers and Wall Street automotive sector analysts have so far reacted with skepticism saying it would be hard for Mr. After adjusting for inflation, that's more than the record-setting buyout of RJR Nabisco that closed in 1989.

Brent for October settlement declined 29 cents to $72.52 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange, and traded at a $5.98 premium to WTI for the same month. Analysts expect a 1.7 million-barrel drop in crude stocks for the week ended August 10.

OPEC expects oil supply by countries outside the cartel to increase by 2.13 million bpd next year, 30,000 bpd more than forecast last month, with much of the increase coming from new USA shale production.

This was said to be due to weaker-than-expected oil demand data from Latin America and the Middle East in the second quarter.

Oil futures fell more than $2 a barrel on Wednesday after data showed US crude stockpiles jumped last week, compounding worries about a weaker global economic growth outlook.

Oil prices rose more than 1% Friday as USA sanctions against Iran looked set to tighten supply.

Trump signs defence bill preventing weapons sales to Turkey
Some lawmakers wanted to reinstate sanctions on ZTE for illegally shipping products to Iran and North Korea. The bill also authorizes billions of dollars for military construction, including family housing.

That was the highest level of drilling activity since March 2015.

Brent crude has fallen back to about $72 a barrel as the questions over demand have offset concerns over supply disruptions, such as U.S. sanctions on Iran, which had helped to propel the global oil benchmark to highs of $80 a barrel in May.

However, a revival from lower levels can not be ruled out in the next quarter as U.S. sanctions on Iranian oil exports are due to take effect in November that may cut two-third of its exports and in turn tighten global supply.

While uneasiness about scarce oil supplies have cooled somewhat after Opec-member Saudi Arabia and other producers pumped more, the International Energy Agency warned that renewed American sanctions on Iran and disruptions elsewhere could be challenging.

Rescuers evacuate 1600 campers after storm causes flash flooding in Southern France
The Gard government said four German children were taken to hospital on Thursday suffering from hypothermia in Bagnols-sur-Cèze. According to UK Met Office nearly three inches of rain fell over south-east France in 24 hours.

Latest News