Lower oil prices now

Trump Presses OPEC to Reduce Prices as Crude Trades Near $80

However, President Trump sent it lower with a tweet yesterday criticising the high oil prices and letting OPEC know he wants to see it down.

He added, "the bigger risk is the global economy doesn't look healthy outside of the U.S.I think we could have a long sideways period in the market now, as the rest of the world drags us down"; in short, slower economic grow means less demand for oil and therefore lower prices.

"We're stuck in a range here", said Tariq Zahir, managing member at Tyche Capital Advisors in NY, with prices supported by the USA sanctions on Iranian supplies and pressured by the potential that Chinese demand could wane.

Disruptions to Iranian production stemming from US sanctions are being given credit for the discrepancy.

In the range-bound market, Trump's tweets may drive prices down slightly, said Tyche's Zahir, predicting that such tweets from the president would probably continue with the USA midterm elections fast approaching.

On Wednesday, WTI increased 1.8 percent to settle at 71.12 US dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for November delivery increased 0.5 percent to settle at 79.40 dollars a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange. U.S. light crude oil was up 30 cents at $71.42 a barrel after rising almost 2% on Wednesday.

For this year's April-September driving season, the EIA expects USA regular gasoline retail prices to average $2.87 a gallon, up 19% from a year ago, mostly due to expectations of higher crude oil prices.

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Crude inventories fell by 2.1 million barrels in the last week, compared with analysts' expectations for an decrease of 2.7 million barrels.

Tanker tracking and industry data show Iranian exports of crude have already begun to decline well before the imposition of new United States sanctions on Tehran. Perry credits the two countries with averting a "spike in oil price".

"Whether or not this (price) development was justified, it is a supply-side development and the market has reacted to it", PVM Oil Associates strategist Tamas Varga said, Reuters reported.

Oil prices extended gains for a third day Thursday after the Energy Information Administration (EIA) report on Wednesday showed another drawdown in US inventories and strong USA gasoline demand.

OPEC members will meet this weekend with non-OPEC producers such as Russian Federation to discuss production levels. Many buyers have already scaled back Iranian purchases, and it was unclear how easily other producers, such as Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Russian Federation, can compensate for lost supply.

Saudi officials believe there is insufficient oil demand so far to justify raising Saudi output much beyond the roughly 400,000 bpd that it has pumped above its 10 million bpd target, OPEC and industry sources told Reuters.

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