Oil falls 1 percent as supply concerns fade

Oil Edges Up As Market Eyes Tighter Supply | NTA.ng - Breaking News, Nigeria, Africa, Worldwide

USA oil prices inched up on Tuesday, buoyed by expectations of tightening global supply due to US sanctions on Venezuela and production cuts led by OPEC.

In gasoline, the authority reported a build of 500,000 barrels, with daily production at a little less than 9.9 million barrels.

"The fact that US crude oil and gasoline stocks rose more sharply than expected, as reported by the API after the close of trading yesterday, is weighing on prices", said Commerzbank analyst Carsten Fritsch.

US crude futures were down 50 cents, or 0.9 percent, at $54.06 a barrel by 1400 GMT.

As per the American Petroleum Institute, the WTI stockpile stock increased by 2.5 million barrels last week.

"Disappointing U.S. factory data sparked fresh concerns over a slowdown in the global economy, although losses were limited as OPEC cuts and U.S. sanctions on Venezuela continued to point to a tighter supply picture", Cantor Fitzgerald Europe said.

International Brent crude futures were at 62.56 dollars a barrel, up five cents or 0.08 per cent.

Together with Libya and Iran, it is exempt from the latest OPEC-led supply cut.

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Taking control of oil revenues - the basis of Venezuela's economy - from Maduro and giving it to Guaido, and the decision to sanction oil companies, is the boldest US move so far to raise pressure on Maduro.

"Distillate demand increased sharply last week due to the extreme cold weather, which contributed to the declining distillate stocks", Commerzbank analyst Carsten Fritsch said.

The producers known as OPEC+ began cutting production by 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) from last month to avert a new supply glut and OPEC has delivered nearly three quarters of its pledged cuts already, a Reuters survey showed.

The sanctions will sharply limit oil transactions between Venezuela and other countries and are similar to those imposed on Iran past year, experts said after examining details posted by the Treasury Department.

Meanwhile, imports are set to drop further as the U.S. slapped sanctions on Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA.

WTI futures were at 54.65 dollars per barrel at 0810 GMT, up nine cents or 0.16 per cent.

Also dampening market sentiment still were worries about weaker global economic growth and the US-China trade dispute.

US President Donald Trump last week said he would meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping, perhaps twice, in the coming weeks to try to seal a comprehensive trade deal with Beijing, but acknowledged it was not yet clear whether a deal could be reached.

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