Oil mixed as USA crude stockpiles show surprise build

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were down 37 cents, or 0.5 per cent, at 73.77 dollars per barrel.

"Every day, Mr. Trump has a new message or remark that causes concern in the market, or he gives OPEC members orders that are very insulting", or demands other countries increase their production, Zanganeh said.

The Iranian OPEC governor had on Thursday taunted Trump for his tweets urging OPEC to reduce prices, saying the U.S. president's tweets have backfired, having driven the prices up by at least $10 per barrel.

The U.S. government plans to shut Iran's oil exports out of the market from November, demanding that all countries stop buying its oil.

The U.S. bank warned that supply threats were "threatening a sharp further rise in prices and global economic growth".

Saudi Arabia's objective, revealed at the OPEC meeting in June, has been to stabilise production and prices around current levels.

The US envoy to the UN, Nikki Haley, indicated in her discussions with Prime Minister Narendra Modi last month that the US will work with India for the development of Chabahar port in Iran as part of a transport corridor that could boost trade in Afghanistan.

US crude stockpiles rose 1.3 million barrels last week, according to US Energy Information Administration data.

"The OPEC Monopoly must remember that gas prices are up & they are doing little to help", Trump wrote on his personal Twitter account. This must be a two way street.

Meanwhile, China's commerce ministry said on Thursday the United States is "opening fire on the entire world", warning that Washington's proposed tariffs on Chinese goods will hit worldwide supply chains.

Benchmark Brent crude oil was up 45c at $77.75.

"The responsibility of paying unnecessary prices for oil by all consumers of the whole world, especially in USA gas stations, is exclusively upon your (Trump's) shoulders and the price of over $100 per barrel is yet to come", Kazempour said.

Iran has threatened to block oil exports through a key Gulf waterway in retaliation against any hostile U.S. action.

China's Commerce Ministry spokesman Gao Feng said America's tariffs will backfire and damage the world economy because more than half of the US$34 billion of Chinese exports are produced by foreign companies.

  • Wendy Palmer