Oil prices rise after bigger-than-expected fall in U.S. inventories

Oil Slumps to Lowest Since March as U.S-China Trade War WorsensMore

Oil Slumps to Lowest Since March as U.S-China Trade War WorsensMore

A major drop in demand is just speculation right now since data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) is still showing global oil demand is likely averaging over 100 million barrels per day (bpd) this year for the first time.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at 56.08 U.S. dollars per barrel, down 51 cents, or 0.9 percent, from their last settlement.

Oil prices fell in volatile trade on Wednesday, weighed down by equity markets as China signalled readiness to escalate the trade war with the United States, stoking concerns that an ongoing stand-off could hurt demand.

Also helping prop up prices were falling supplies from Opec members Iran and Venezuela due to US sanctions.

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Front-month Brent crude futures, the worldwide benchmark for oil prices, dropped $1.15 from their last settlement to reach at $65.72 at 0844 GMT.

Oil prices have been supported this year by output cuts of roughly 1.2 Mmbpd from the members of Opec+, which includes most members of Opec, along with a number of non-Opec producers led by Russian Federation. -China trade war will trigger an economic downturn kept a lid on gains.

Trade worries and slowdown fears have pressured investors to dump so-called "risk assets" such as equities and oil globally and seek safety in German and US government debt.

"This fresh tariff headline offers a "pile on" effect to an oil market that has already been seeing downside pressure from some unexpectedly large US crude supply increases that have been weighing on values across this month of May", Jim Ritterbusch, president of Ritterbusch and Associates, said in a note.

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"U.S. refiners import roughly 680,000 barrels per day of Mexican crude".

AT 10:25 GMT, July WTI crude oil futures are trading $57.98, down $1.16 or -2.00% and August Brent crude oil is at $67.39, down $1.28 or -1.86%. US rig count data is due at 1:00 p.m. EDT (1700 GMT), an indication of future production.

Since Opec and its allies started withholding supply in January, oil prices have risen by about 30 per cent. "That market participants are prepared to pay such a premium for oil that can be delivered at short notice points to tight oil supply".

OPEC and its allies will meet in June for a scheduled meeting with multiple potential outcomes being explored.

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