Trump to OPEC: ‘Reduce pricing now!’

Trump to OPEC: ‘Reduce pricing now!’

However, oil prices have shot up and Trump, anxious about the impact on United States voters ahead of November midterm elections, is appealing to the Saudis for help.

"The OPEC monopoly must remember that gas prices are up and they are doing little to help..."

Brent crude futures were up 11 cents $78.35 a barrel.

Brent crude futures lost 85 United States cents to settle at US$77.39 a barrel.

"If Trump continues to believe that OPEC are not doing enough, we would not rule out a SPR (Strategic Petroleum Reserve) release from the USA, or possibly even export restrictions on petroleum products", ING said, in a note.

On Wednesday Trump took to Twitter to accuse Opec of "driving prices higher" and insisted there "must be a two way street".

Opec, together with a group of non-Opec producers led by Russian Federation, reduced output in 2017 to prop up the market.

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Tehran blames rising prices on US sanctions imposed on Iran and Venezuela, founding members of the cartel.

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

Iran's oil minister on Saturday accused US President Donald Trump of insulting OPEC by ordering it to increase production and reduce prices, adding that Iranian output and exports had not changed as a result of US pressure.

To make up for potential shortfalls in supply from Iran sanctions as well as other disruptions including Libya and Venezuela, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has agreed with Russian Federation and other oil-producing non-OPEC members to raise output from July.

US tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese imports took effect as a deadline passed on Friday and Beijing has vowed to respond immediately in kind, setting the two world's biggest economies on a path toward a full-blown trade conflict.

Meanwhile, the market continued to watch rising USA crude output, with this week's oil drilling rig count data, an indicator of future production, due at 1 p.m.

OPEC and Russian Federation announced in June they were willing to raise output to address concerns of emerging supply shortages due to unplanned disruptions from Venezuela to Libya, and likely also to replace a potential fall in Iranian supplies due to US sanctions.

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