Oil steady as emerging market woes dim demand outlook

Oil steady as emerging market woes dim demand outlook

Saudi Arabia reins in oil production as demand forecasts waver

Oil prices jumped on Tuesday after Saudi Arabia said it cut production, adding to concerns over global supply as US sanctions against Iran curb its exports, though the prospect of a slowdown in global economic growth kept a lid on markets.

On Friday, Bloomberg also reported that the Islamic Republic's state-run National Iranian Oil Company was planing to reduce official prices for September sales to Asia to their lowest level in 14 years.

BMI Research said oil markets would "struggle for direction, as uncertainty around both the impact on supply from the Iranian sanctions and escalating trade tensions between the US and China persists". Brent crude, the global benchmark, climbed 1.1% to $73.41 a barrel.

Market participants awaited industry data on Tuesday from the American Petroleum Institute (API) that analysts expect will show that USA crude and gasoline inventories fell last week.

Analysts say trade disputes between the United States and China as well as turmoil in emerging markets could curb growth and energy demand.

Crude slid to the lowest in seven weeks as economic turbulence in Turkey and the strengthening greenback heightened concerns about global oil demand.

Saudi Arabia told the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries that it had reduced crude output by 200,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 10.29 million bpd in July.

Iran's state news agency IRNA reported that an "informed source" inside the country's oil ministry did not provide extensive details and sought to downplay the move as common industry practice.

Hedge funds and other money managers reduced their bullish positions in U.S. crude futures and options in the week ending August 7, data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission showed on Friday.

USA energy companies last week added the most oil rigs since May, adding 10 rigs to bring the total count to 869, according to the Baker Hughes energy services firm.

But then Trump's displeasure with high oil prices and influence over Saudi Arabia has led to augmented production levels.

Increased production in Nigeria, Kuwait and the UAE more than offset the drop recorded in Libya, Iran and Saudi Arabia, according to Bloomberg.

OPEC expects world oil demand to grow by 1.43 million bpd in 2019, down from 1.64 million bpd in 2018.

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