Global Oil Production Raises As Saudi Arabia Pumps More

Oil at five-week low as supply worries compound trade war threat

Oil prices were down on Friday as the market refocused on bearish longer term factors following a bounce in the previous session as United States crude inventories in a key hub fell to their lowest in almost four years.

Futures fell for the third day in NY, losing as much as 1.1 per cent to hit their lowest level since June 22, but US government's data showed a surprise gain in nationwide stockpiles on Wednesday.

The price for Brent crude oil, the global benchmark for the price of oil, was down 1.75 per cent as of 9:20 a.m. EDT to $72.91 per barrel.

Saudi Arabia, Russia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates have increased production, as agreed at a meeting in June, to help to compensate for an anticipated shortfall in Iranian crude supplies once US sanctions come into force later this year.

Analysts said widening of positions by participants amid pick up in spot demand against tight stocks position on restricted supplies from overseas markets mainly kept crude palm oil prices higher at futures trade.

It was gathered that the Arabic nation's production increased by 230,000 barrels daily in July to 10.65 million barrels per day.

At 1010 GMT, the October ICE Brent crude futures contract was down 10 cents from Thursday's settle at $73.45/b, while the NYMEX WTI September contract edged down 3 cents to $68.93/b.

Analysts said the outlook beyond the short-term was turning bearish.

It produced about 11.21 million barrels per day, an increase of 140,000 from a month earlier, according to Bloomberg calculations based on the ministry's data.

Apple becomes first $1 trillion publicly listed USA firm
During the day, the share price of the iPhone maker jumped by 2.8% to $207.05, passing the $1tn (£762bn) mark in NY trading. The company's fortunes were turbocharged by the launch of personal gadgets such as the iPod in 2001 and the iPhone in 2007.

Tensions between the US and Iran are also supporting the market, Barratt said.

"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.

Overall US crude oil inventories actually rose by 3.8-million barrels last week to 408.74-million barrels, the EIA data showed.

China has said it plans to impose tariffs on liquefied natural gas, raising concerns that it could also impose tariffs on oil, said John Kilduff, partner at Again Capital Management in NY.

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

Trump has turned up pressure on China for trade concessions by proposing a higher 25 percent tariff on $200 billion of Chinese imports.

USA crude oil exports averaged 1.31 million barrels per day last week, down by 1.37 million barrels per day from the previous week.

The producer group on June 23 agreed with Russian Federation and nine other allies on a one million bpd output increase to head off any supply shortages emerging from USA sanctions on Iran and Venezuela's continued decline, among other market disruptions.

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