Oil prices inch up as U.S. crude stocks drop, Iran sanctions weigh

China Shipowners Shunning Iranian Oil as U.S. Sanctions Near

Oil prices rose on Friday as US sanctions on Iran are expected to cut significant volumes of crude from the market, although trading was muted by concerns over the unresolved trade dispute between Washington and Beijing, Reuters reports.

Signs of slowing USA crude output growth and a weaker US dollar also provided some support to oil prices, said Kim Kwang-rae, commodity analyst at Samsung Futures in Seoul.

Thanks to these sanctions, Iran's exports could go down by as much as 1 million barrels of oil a day.

At the same time, concerns about global crude supply intensified with signs that US sanctions on Iran are curbing shipments.

Meanwhile, Brent crude, which is the worldwide benchmark of crude oil, rose by $1.48 to $74.11 a barrel.

Worldwide markets were more cautious as the ongoing trade spat between the United States and China was seen as a drag on economic growth, traders said. It lost more than 1.5 per cent in the previous five sessions. Instead, both countries activated another round of dueling tariffs on $16 billion worth of each other's goods.

Draw for US Open announced
Spaniard Garbine Muguruza ($11 million) and Russian Maria Sharapova (USD 10.5 million) rounded out the top five. Top seed Halep faces Estonia's Kaia Kanepi while Danish world number two Caroline Wozniacki meets former U.S.

Washington is holding hearings this week on a proposed list of another $200 billion worth of Chinese imports to face duties, to which China is nearly certain to respond.

West Texas Intermediate, light crude oil is on track for a seventh week of losses, with a fall of more than three per cent.

“These (overall) measures are expected to shave up to 0.3-0.5 percentage points from China's real GDP growth in 2019, ” said rating agency Moody's Investor Service.

Iran, a member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) and Opec's third-largest oil producer, said earlier this week no other Opec member should be allowed to take over its share of oil exports.

Terminals in the port district of Houston-Galveston, Texas, recently started exporting more crude oil than was imported for the first time on record, according to an August 20 report by the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Meanwhile, China, the world's biggest oil importer and Iran's biggest customer, is said to have rejected a USA request to halt purchases from the producer, dealing a blow to Trump's efforts to isolate the Middle East nation and force it into negotiations.

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