TAIFEX Expands Commodity Product Portfolio With Debut Of Brent Crude Oil Futures

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Oil prices were mixed on Friday, with short-covering pushing up USA crude futures while Brent slipped on global trade tensions and increased Saudi production.

Crude Oil WTI futures for delivery in August traded at $74.8 per barrel, or 0.38 percent higher from their previous close.

US crude futures slipped on Thursday after data showed an unexpected 1.3-million-barrel build in crude inventories. "There was pressure from the South Korean government to halt purchases", Reuters quoted an unnamed source familiar with Iranian shipping arrangements as saying. For the week ended on July 6, the total number of oil drilling rigs in the US increased by 5, or by 0.6 percent - to 863 units.

OPEC and non-OPEC producers reached an agreement in December 2016 to curtail oil output jointly and ease a global glut after more than two years of low prices.

That came after an outage at a major Canadian oil sands facility cut regional supply.

Top exporter Saudi Arabia told OPEC it raised oil output by nearly 500,000 barrels per day last month, OPEC sources said, a sign Riyadh wants to make up for shortages elsewhere and dampen prices. However, oil traders should continue to monitor the events because Beijing has threatened a 25 percent tariff on US crude imports, although it has not specified an introduction date.

Investors are also focusing on how much exports from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states will rise, Chauhan said.

In an early sign of future times, an executive from China's Dongming Petrochemical Group, an independent refiner from Shandong province, said his refinery had already cancelled USA crude orders.

Brent, meanwhile, was "still having difficulty gaining independent bullish traction", said Jim Ritterbusch, president of Ritterbusch and Associates in a note, Reuters reported.

FGE said the US government may grant some waivers to allies that are particularly reliant on Iranian supplies and that some Iranian oil would also be smuggled into global markets.

One option could be more shipments to India, which already has been buying more US crude. The US rig count, an early indicator of future output, was up by five in the week to July 6.

That brings the total count to 863, up 100 from past year.

If that happens, "Chinese demand would then shift to other suppliers".

Conflicting opinions over what will happen to crude supplies in the near future, coupled with concern over the escalating trade war between the US and China, was appropriately matched by mixed market performance for crude on Friday, with the USA benchmark achieving modest price gains and the global benchmark slipping slightly.