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Oil prices mixed after Thursday gains

LONDON, August 3, 2018 – Oil prices were mixed on Friday after strong gains in the previous session on reports that crude supplies fell at a domestic delivery hub at Cushing, Oklahoma.

Crude Oil WTI Futures for September delivery climbed 0.15% to $69.06 per barrel at 1:30AM ET (05:30 GMT), while Brent Oil Futures for October delivery were down 0.08% to $73.39 for one barrel.

Higher output from the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Russia were cited as headwind for oil prices, as OPEC’s July output climbed and Saudi Arabia pumped near-record volumes, while Russia also boosted production.

Head of Commodity Strategy at Saxo Bank A/S in Copenhagen, Ole Sloth Hansen, said: “We are seeing continued negative sentiment, driven by worries over growth and demand.”

 

On Thursday, Information provider Genscape reportedly said U.S. crude inventories at Cushing had fallen in the week, according to traders. Stockpiles at the hub fell by 1.1 million barrels since Friday, July 27.

That reversed sentiment on oil prices which had traded as low as $66.92 a barrel intraday amid ongoing worries about major oil producers expanding output.

Trade war between the U.S. and China also remained in focus, as traders fear China would lower energy demand following recent development and drive crude prices lower.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross urged on Friday to inflict more pain to China unless it changes its economic system.  

“We have to create a situation where it’s more painful for them to continue their bad practices than it is to reform,” Ross said in an interview on Fox Business Network on Thursday. The U.S. will keep turning up the pressure on China for as long as the country refuses to level the economic playing field, said Ross.

“The reason for the tariffs to begin with was to try and convince the Chinese to modify their behavior. Instead they have been retaliating. So the president now feels that it’s potentially time to put more pressure on, in order to modify their behavior,” he said.

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