Oil near US$74 amid Trump tweets, forecast drop in U.S. stockpile

Global outages overshadow underwhelming OPEC output hike

"Increased Saudi crude availability that is being enhanced by reduced OSPs (official selling prices) into Europe and other regions is providing a strong counter against curtailed Libyan export activities", Ritterbusch wrote.

"The OPEC monopoly must remember that gas prices are up and they are doing little to help..."

US crude futures slipped on Thursday after data showed an unexpected 1.3 million-barrel build in crude inventories.

US crude futures were down 58 cents at $73.56 per barrel by 12:00 p.m. EDT (1600 GMT), still in sight of Tuesday's 3-1/2-year high above $75.

The recent strength in oil prices has in part been spurred by a USA announcement that it plans to reintroduce sanctions against Iran, OPEC's third-largest producer, from November, targeting oil exports.

NAB said its oil price forecasts "point to Brent spending the next few months largely in the mid-to-high $70s (per barrel) range, although meaningful OPEC-Russia output increases could push prices lower later in the year and higher U.S. shale production should impose an upside limit on WTI".

Trump has lashed out at OPEC producers to reduce prices, making a claim - later backtracked by the White House - in a tweet on Saturday that Saudi Arabia had agreed to increase oil output by up to 2 million barrels. This must be a two way street.

U.S. Imposes Tariff On Chinese Imports; Beijing Fires Back
"There are no winners in a trade war ", said William Zarit, chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in China . Washington has "ignited the biggest trade war in economic history ", said a Commerce Ministry statement .

Najib Razak: Former Malaysian leader charged with criminal breach of trust
In a recorded video posted on social media hours after his arrest, Najib apologised to Malaysians but remained defiant. The statement said the arrest was linked to a former 1MDB unit but did not detail specific charges against him.

Trump spoke with three Supreme Court candidates
And if the votes result in a tie, Vice President Pence will hold the tie-breaking vote-and his anti-abortion stance is well-known. Cory Booker saying there should be no nominee until after Robert Mueller ends his Russian Federation probe.

That may reduce the pressure on Saudi Arabia to keep oil prices high, said John Kilduff, partner at energy hedge fund Again Capital LLC in NY.

The U.S. bank warned that supply threats were "threatening a sharp further rise in prices and global economic growth".

Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh talks to journalists at the beginning of an OPEC meeting in Vienna, Austria, June 22, 2018.

Oil Industry experts believe Opec's biggest member can raise output by about 1 million bpd to 11 million bpd and even that would be a tall order in the short term.

USA production remained steady at 10.9 million bpd for a third week in a row. "Because the oil market is already in tight supply due to the numerous outages, this would drive worldwide prices (Brent) further up", Commerzbank said in a note.

USA tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese imports took effect as a deadline passed on Friday and Beijing has vowed to respond in kind.

The oil minister also said that Iran, which is Opec's third-largest producer, has not changed its oil production and exports amid growing USA pressure.

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