Economy

Donald Trump's Tweets Increased Oil Prices By $10, Iran's OPEC Chief Says

Donald Trump's Tweets Increased Oil Prices By $10, Iran's OPEC Chief Says

President Donald Trump has ramped up his Twitter assault on the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and high oil prices, but experts say the president's own push to cut off Iran's oil sales is the biggest reason oil prices have gone up recently. His latest was a reminder that the USA defends many OPEC members for "very little" money.

OPEC and partners agreed on June 23 to increase oil production, with the Saudi and Russian energy ministers saying it would add about 1 million barrels a day to the market. Rising gasoline prices could create a political headache for Trump before November mid-term congressional elections by offsetting Republican claims that his tax cuts and rollbacks of federal regulations have helped boost the USA economy. Speaking Thursday, Hossein Kazempour Ardebili, the Iranian governor to OPEC, said the US president was ill-informed on OPEC policies.

Hossein Kazempour, Iran's OPEC Governor, thinks prices are rising because of Trump's tweets.

"Political issues should not interfere in the crude market, and supply and demand should determine the final oil price", Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said, Press TV reported on Saturday.

US crude stockpiles rose 1.3-million barrels last week, according to data from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), against analysts' expectations of a 3.5-million-barrel decline.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were down 37 cents, or 0.5 per cent, at 73.77 dollars per barrel. The Saudis have increased oil production, following an OPEC meeting last month, but it hasn't been enough to overcome the effects of reduced supplies from other producers. 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.

More news: German Chancellor Angela Merkel hangs onto power after last-minute deal over immigration

Iran, OPEC's third-largest producer, is facing United States sanctions on its oil exports that are prompting some buyers to cut purchases. Analysts had expected a 3.5 million-barrel draw. "This must be a two-way street", he wrote.

Brent crude futures were at $77.78 per barrel at 0137 GMT, down 46 cents, or 0.6 percent, from their last close.

USA crude was bullish after official data on Thursday showed inventories at Cushing, the delivery point for US crude futures, fell to their lowest in 3-1/2 years.

Aramco, Saudi Arabia's state-run crude oil company, has reportedly announced sizable cuts for its August prices, reflecting the Gulf kingdom's promise to its American ally to help stabilize the global oil market.

OPEC and its allies, namely Russian Federation, had agreed in a June meeting to effectively raise output by 1 million barrels a day to help counteract lost barrels from Venezuela and Iran. "REDUCE PRICING NOW!" Trump tweeted.


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