Oil falls on US stocks rise, weaker outlook

LONDON: Oil prices fell on Wednesday, weighed down by a gloomier global economic outlook and a report of rising US crude inventories, even as US sanctions on Tehran threatened to curb Iranian crude oil supplies.
Global benchmark Brent crude oil LCOc1 was down 50 cents a barrel at $71.96 by 0830 GMT. US light crude CLc1 was 55 cents lower at $66.49.
“Sentiment is sandwiched between a darkening global economic outlook and looming Iranian supply shortages,” said Stephen Brennock, analyst at London brokerage PVM Oil Associates.
US crude stocks rose by 3.7 million barrels in the week to August 10, to 410.8 million barrels, private industry group the American Petroleum Institute (API) said on Tuesday. Crude stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub rose by 1.6 million barrels, the API said.
Official US oil inventory data was due to be published later on Wednesday by the Energy Information Administration.
Investors are concerned by the health of the world economy at a time of escalating trade disputes between the United States and its major trading partners.
The OECD’s composite leading indicator, which covers the western advanced economies plus China, India, Russia, Brazil, Indonesia and South Africa, peaked in January, but has since fallen and slipped below trend in May and June.
World trade volume growth also peaked in January at almost 5.7 per cent year-on-year, but nearly halved to less than 3 per cent by May, according to the Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
The United States and China have been locked in a tit-for-tat trade spat for a few months, gradually adding tariffs to each others’ products in a dispute that threatens to curb economic activity in both countries.
Chinese oil importers now appear to be shying away from buying US crude oil as they fear Beijing may decide to add the commodity to its tariff list.
— Reuters