Oil prices down with Trump’s OPEC criticism

Crude prices lose 3.3 percent after Trump tweets 'oil prices getting too high'

Crude oil prices were down at trading start on Tuesday after U.S. President Donald Trump took aim at high oil prices and criticized the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) once again.

International benchmark Brent crude lost 3.3 percent on Monday to close at $64.93 per barrel and on Tuesday fell another 0.1 percent to trade at $64.86 a barrel at 0610 GMT.

American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) declined 3.3 percent to end the previous session at $55.45 a barrel and an additional 0.3 percent on Tuesday to reach $55.28 per barrel at the same time.

“Oil prices getting too high. OPEC, please relax and take it easy. World cannot take a price hike – fragile!” Trump wrote on Twitter, causing crude prices to retreat from their three-month highs.

Both Brent and WTI were at their highest levels on Friday since Nov. 16 after OPEC and its allies agreed on Dec. 7 to lower their total oil production by 1.2 million barrels per day for the first six months of 2019.

In addition, Washington’s sanctions on Venezuela’s state-owned energy company PDVSA on Jan. 29, and the re-imposition of sanctions on Iranian crude exports on Nov. 5 have intensified supply concerns on the global oil market and pushed prices higher.

While the global economic outlook for 2019 looks weak and is expected to have a negative impact on global oil demand, oil market players hope the trade impasse between the U.S. and China can be resolved in the following months to support oil prices.

“China Trade Deal (and more) in advanced stages. Relationship between our two Countries is very strong. I have therefore agreed to delay U.S. tariff hikes,” Trump wrote on Twitter before he said he is delaying the U.S.’ tariffs increase on China that was scheduled for March 1.

Trump said he plans to hold a summit with his Chinese counterpart President Xi Jinping if the world’s two largest economies make additional progress on trade negotiations.


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