Oil prices fain as traders shrug off Trump’s tweet
LONDON, March 29, 2019 – Oil prices gained on Friday in Asia as traders shrugged off US President Donald Trump’s tweet about “too high” prices.
US Crude Oil WTI Futures rose 0.5% to $59.64 by 1:00 AM ET (05:00 GMT), while international Brent Oil Futures also gained 0.5% to $67.43.
Trump sent out on Thursday his second tweet of the year on oil, calling on the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to raise production and bring down prices of the commodity.
“Very important that OPEC increase the flow of Oil. World Markets are fragile, price of Oil getting too high. Thank you!” he said.
Oil prices fell immediately after the tweet, but recovered by the close on Thursday.
The tweet was similar to his other message to the producer group on Feb. 25, telling it not to push the markets up too much with its supply cuts. “Prices getting too high,” Trump said then. “OPEC, please relax and take it easy. World cannot take a price hike – fragile!”
But compared to his last tweet on oil that pulled crude prices down as much as 3%, Thursday’s market action showed the president may be losing his influence over traders as well as OPEC.
Oil markets rallied since the beginning of the year as the OPEC and non-affiliated allies like Russia pledged to withhold around 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) of supply this year.
US sanctions on Iran and Venezuela are also cited as supporting the oil markets too.