Crude Oil Futures Settle Lower Again On Growth Concerns

Last week WTI topped $60 a barrel for the first time since Nov 9 2018. — AFP  File

Last week WTI topped $60 a barrel for the first time since Nov 9 2018. — AFP File

Today's tweet sent oil prices downward as well, with WTI trading down $0.46 (-0.77%), and Brent down $0.52 (-0.77%) at 11:25am EST.

Despite concerns about weaker demand due to an economic slowdown, oil prices have risen more than 25 percent this year, supported by supply curbs by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries plus allies, and losses due to US sanctions on Iran and Venezuela. It's "very important" that OPEC increase crude flows as prices are "getting too high", Trump tweeted on Thursday, giving an extra shove to a crude market already slumping.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures dropped 87 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $58.54 per barrel.

ANZ bank said the darkening economic outlook "overshadowed the supply-side issues" the oil market was facing amid supply cuts led by producer club OPEC as well as the USA sanctions on Venezuela and Iran.

'Now we're focusing on (oil) inventories. and people aren't going to want to be short into the inventory report, which is probably going to show another big drawdown'.

In the week ended March 15, USA crude stockpiles dropped by 9.6 million barrels, the largest decline since July, boosted by strong export and refining demand.

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Despite the decrease in the oil rig count and Thursday's Brent price peak of 2019, oil slumped on the global market on Friday, with worldwide benchmark Brent crude closing at $66.86 per barrel while American benchmark West Texas Intermediate finished the day at $59.98 a barrel.

Brent crude prices hit their 2019 high earlier this month and have risen more than 25 percent so far this year, according to Reuters. "Thank you!" Trump wrote in a post on Twitter.

"The upcoming six months will bring relatively healthy demand for OPEC oil", PVM's Tamas Varga said in a note.

OPEC is no stranger to criticism from the US president.

Manufacturing data from Asia, Europe and North America is pointing to a sharp economic slowdown.

U.S. crude inventories rose last week by 2.8 million barrels, compared with analysts' expectations for a decrease of 1.2 million barrels, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said.

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