Saturday, 17 November, 2018

Rouhani: Iran does not fear new U.S. sanctions on energy, banking sectors

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo talks with South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha during their meeting at Foreign Ministry in Seoul Rouhani: Iran does not fear new US sanctions on energy, banking sectors
Laurie Berry | 02 November, 2018, 14:14

US crude inventories rose for a sixth straight week, according to government data.

WTI and Brent crude futures continued to trend lower following reports that the United States has agreed to let several countries keep purchasing Iranian oil. A rally in the greenback this week has also diminished the appeal of commodities priced in dollars.

Global markets, including oil, were lifted earlier on Friday by hopes that the trade dispute between the world's two biggest economies could be resolved soon.

The US has insisted all along that it wanted every country to reduce oil imports from Iran to zero eventually, but was open to country-specific waivers that would allow limited imports by those pledging "significant" cut.

"While the gain in USA crude inventories was in line with the market expectation, it's still a sixth consecutive week of increase on the back of rising American production", Takayuki Nogami, chief economist at Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corp., said by phone from Tokyo. Saudi Arabia could make up the difference; while the kingdom has threatened to use oil in retaliation for worldwide punishment over its killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, it also is eager to squeeze Iran, its regional rival.

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West Texas Intermediate for December delivery fell as much as 58 cents to $64.73 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, and was at $65.03 at 3:47 p.m.in Tokyo. The contract has fallen 12 percent since the beginning of October. Total volume traded was 10 percent above the 100-day average.

Any country, or company, trading with Iran without United States consent after sanctions kick off risks getting cut off from the American financial system.

"Given these (output) numbers, with Russian Federation pumping hard and the United States and OPEC as well, and we are not really seeing a pickup in demand for another month ... it could indicate we're back to the good old $70-80 range that persisted through April and August", Saxo Bank senior manager Ole Hansen said.

"I think it's important that we not relax in the effort" to keep putting pressure on Tehran, he said. America's stockpiles climbed 3.22 million barrels last week in the longest streak of gains since March 2017, government data showed Wednesday.

In the first three weeks of October, Iran's crude and condensate exports averaged around 1.90-1.95 million bpd according to Platts ship tracking data, but exports could be even higher due to the Iranian tactic to switch off tracking devices to hide some volumes and destinations of its oil exports, sources say. Off-topic, inappropriate or insulting comments will be removed.

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