Oil prices rise as focus returns to supply concerns
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LONDON (Reuters) – Oil rose on Friday, clawing back some territory after prices fell by the most in a month in the previous session, as the focus returned to supply concerns ahead of a November deadline for U.S. sanctions on Iranian crude.
Brent crude was up 17 cents at $78.35 a barrel at 1044 GMT. The global benchmark fell 2 percent on Thursday after rising on Wednesday to its highest since May 22 at $80.13.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures were up 27 cents at $68.86 a barrel after dropping 2.5 percent on Thursday.
Brent was set for a 2 percent weekly rise and WTI 1.7 percent.
Price rises were capped after U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry said Saudi Arabia, other members of OPEC and Russia were to be admired for trying to prevent a spike in global oil prices.
“We think the oil market will have another go at pushing Brent above $80 a barrel,” Harry Tchilinguirian, oil strategist at French bank BNP Paribas, told the Reuters Global Oil Forum.
“The looming supply gap that the loss of Iranian oil exports represents is still ahead of us and that early November U.S. deadline to reduced imports to zero is fast approaching.”
The United States is renewing sanctions on Iran after withdrawing from a nuclear deal forged in 2015 between Tehran and world powers.
Washington reimposed some of the financial sanctions from Aug. 6, while those affecting Iran’s petroleum sector will come into force from Nov. 4.
Indian refiners, traditionally major buyers of Iranian crude, will cut their monthly crude loadings from Iran for September and October by nearly half from earlier this year.
Supply concerns were stoked by data showing U.S. crude production fell by 100,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 10.9 million bpd last week as the industry faced pipeline capacity constraints.
Meanwhile, the International Energy Agency on Thursday warned that although the oil market was tightening and world oil demand would reach 100 million bpd in the next three months, global economic risks were also mounting.
“As we move into 2019, a possible risk to our forecast lies in some key emerging economies, partly due to currency depreciations versus the U.S. dollar, raising the cost of imported energy,” the agency said.
“In addition, there is a risk to growth from an escalation of trade disputes,” the Paris-based agency said.
China will not buckle to U.S. demands in any trade negotiations, the major state-run China Daily newspaper said, while U.S. President Trump said on Twitter he felt no pressure to strike a deal with China.
Additional eporting by Aaron Sheldrick in Tokyo; Editing by Jan Harvey and Mark Potter
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