From the Field
Oil up as trade tensions, Iran sanctions weigh
LONDON, September 17, 2018 – Oil prices were slightly up on Monday, as falling supplies in Iran and upcoming trade tariffs put pressure on markets.
West Texas Crude oil futures rose 0.61% to $69.19 a barrel as of 4:54 AM ET (8:54 GMT). Meanwhile Brent crude futures, the benchmark for oil prices outside the U.S., increased 0.60% to $78.56.
Investors have been eyeing sanctions against Iran, which are expected to take effect in November. U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry said Friday that he does not foresee any price spikes and that Saudi Arabia, Russia and the United States can raise global output in the next 18 months.
The global oil supply rose in August to a record 100 million barrels per day, the International Energy Agency said in its latest forecast on Thursday.
Crude output from the the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russia, rose to a nine-month high in August, to 32.63 million bpd, due to a rebound in Libya production and increases from Iraq, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia, the IEA said.
However, the Paris-based organization warned that Iranian sanctions could increase market tightness. Meanwhile OPEC warned that oil demand growth will slow in 2019 due to trade tensions and emerging market unrest.
U.S. President Donald Trump could impose a new round of tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods as early as Monday, a senior administration official told Reuters. The new tariffs may be set at 10%, below the original figure of 25% floated by the administration in the past, the Wall Street Journal reported.
In other energy trading, Gasoline RBOB Futures rose 0.81% at $1.9899 a gallon, while heating oil inched up 0.57% to $2.2217 a gallon. Natural gas futures increased 0.61% to $2.784 per million British thermal units.