Crude rebounds as OPEC hints at longer oil output cuts

Russian oil output rose in March despite the output deal, to 10.97 million bpd from 10.95 million bpd in February, Russian Energy Ministry data showed, putting Russia ahead of the United States as the world's biggest crude producer.

Futures in NY slipped 0.4% after climbing 0.8% on Tuesday.

United States oil inventories shrank the most since January, according to government data on Wednesday, in contrast to a forecast expansion.

"But increasing trade friction between China and the U.S. is likely to rock global markets and tarnish bullish sentiment in crude oil markets".

US crude stocks in Cushing, Oklahoma, are now close to their minimums, which means that inventory data this week will likely show a build, Yawger said.

"The two countries are using discretion in their actions, and it does not look like the situation is developing into a full-scale trade war yet", said Tomomichi Akuta, senior economist at Mitsubishi UFJ Research and Consulting in Tokyo.

For the previous week, the EIA had reported a 1.6-million-barrel build in crude oil inventories.

Britain's Boris Johnson accused of misleading public over Skripal poisoning evidence
Paul Waugh tweeted "Just found this cached tweet of @foreignoffice, now appears to be deleted.Big Qs for FCO". A tweet by the Foreign Office, issued on March 22, corroborating Mr Johnson's remarks, has now been deleted.

U.S. drillers cut seven oil rigs in the week to 29 March, bringing the total down to 797, the first decline in three weeks. The more-active June contract rose 58 cents to settle at $69.34. Prices slipped 10 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $68.02 Wednesday.

At 0611 GMT, May WTI crude oil is trading $63.26, down $0.26 or -0.38% and June Brent is at $67.82, down $0.30 or -0.44%.

Immediately before the Energy Information Administration's report on Wednesday both WTI and Brent hit two-week lows, pressured by the escalating trade war between China and the U.S. But oil prices rebounded sharply after the EIA reported that U.S. crude inventories dropped by 4.6 million barrels last week, despite analysts' expectations for an increase of 246,000 barrels.

"It's a combination of factors, the market rebalancing was certainly going to lead to a rebound in price but it's also a shift in geopolitics", said Harry Tchilinguirian, global head of commodity strategy at BNP Paribas, adding that there would be a geopolitical premium on prices until the US position on Iran was clear.

China today confirmed a 25 per cent levy on $50bn (£36bn) worth of US goods, including vehicles and agricultural products like soybeans, in response to US President Donald Trump's planned tariffs on on Chinese goods.

Late Thursday, the White House said the Trade Representative was directed to examine another $100 billion worth of tariffs.

  • Darren Santiago