Oil Poised For Biggest Decline In Six Months

US-China brawl drives down oil prices

Oil mixed with fall in Iran's exports, US-China woes

USA and China trade tensions continue showing no signs of a near-term resolution which could translate to limited oil demand and investors taking a risk-off approach, according to The Wall Street Journal.

"We see an abundance of escalation risks in large part because the USA sanctions are subjecting Iran to nearly unprecedented economic pain", said Helima Croft, managing director of RBC Capital Markets.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its Russia-led allies agreed on December 7 to slash oil production by more than the market had expected.

"All is not well with the economic world, at least according to bond and commodity traders", Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at futures brokerage CMC Markets in Australia, wrote in a note published on Friday. Wall Street's main indexes hit more than two-month lows on Wednesday.

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Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Hanhui said Thursday that China opposes the use of "big sticks" like trade sanctions, tariffs and protectionism.

The decline last week reduced crude stocks from their highest volume since July 2017 recorded the previous week.

Iranian May crude exports dropped to less than half of April levels, at roughly 400,000 barrels per day (Bpd) after the USA tightened sanctions on Tehran's main source of income.

Weekly U.S. oil inventory data has been delayed by Monday's Memorial Day holiday, with the government's report due on Thursday at 11 a.m. EDT (1500 GMT).

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OPEC and other major oil producers, including Russian Federation, pledged in December to cut production by 1.2 million barrels per day in order to prop up prices, effective from this January.

"The last time it was any higher in this segment was in September 2013", Commerzbank said.

Mr. Fritsch said energy prices should eventually be underpinned by shrinking production from members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and their allies, including Russian Federation.

OPEC and its allies will meet in June for a scheduled meeting with multiple potential outcomes being explored. Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Anton Siluanov said on Wednesday that the country would consider a possible extension of its oil output reduction agreement.

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