Oil Futures End Higher, But Post Sharp Weekly Loss

Oil edges higher amid tension over death of Saudi journalist

By taking modestly less aggressive positions in the coming weeks, the US could distance itself from another example of aggressive Saudi policy and reduce USA dependence on the Saudis for stabilizing oil markets as Iranian exports are reduced.

US benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude ended Thursday's trading session down $1.10, or 1.6%, to $68.65 a barrel, rebounding from a one-month low at $68.47/Bbl earlier in the session, Kallanish Energy reports.

Seoul has fully complied with the USA sanctions in the past few months, and totally stopped its oil imports from Iran in September for the first time in six years.

November natural-gas futures NGX18, +1.03% rose 1.6% to $3.25 per million British thermal units, leaving it with a weekly advance of 2.8%.

But spare capacity remains at “precariously low” levels and could remain below 1 million barrels a day through the fourth quarter, depending on the effectiveness of USA sanctions on Iranian crude and refined export products, he said.

Saudi Arabia said this month it would ramp up production by 300,000 barrels per day to help offset a sharp reduction of Iran's crude exports next month.

On Thursday, crude oil futures ended at a five-week low at $68.65 a barrel, losing $1.10, or 1.6%.

"There is no problem on this issue", Kardor said, Iran's ISNA news agency reported.

"We have conveyed to him that the price of crude oil is a matter of concern for our domestic economy and directly affects the common people", he said at a press briefing.

In global markets, stocks in Asia fell on Friday as global sentiment soured on issues ranging from trade worries, Italy's 2019 budget, higher United States interest rates and growth concerns in China that led to a slump in Chinese shares in the previous session.

President Donald Trump on Wednesday gave Saudi Arabia the benefit of the doubt in the journalist's disappearance, suggesting the White House may not take additional action against Saudi Arabia.

After insistent and public prodding by President Donald Trump, Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation agreed to increase oil production, a move that will help alleviate a couple years of climbing prices.

Crude stockpiles in the USA have risen for four straight weeks, the longest run of gains since early 2017.

There have been some indications that implied India totally halting the import of Iranian crude oil. Iran is India's third-largest oil supplier after Iraq and Saudi Arabia.

Meanwhile, revisions to global economic forecasts by the International Monetary Fund, fueled by trade disputes between the U.S. and its partners, "cast more uncertainty over oil demand growth in 2019", the document said.

Signs that Iranian oil exports have been falling more steeply than some in the market expected amid looming US sanctions have also underpinned the market.

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