Oil dips as US-China trade dispute expected to stall economic growth

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At 7:25 a.m. EDT on Thursday, WTI Crude was trading down 0.12 percent at $66.86, while Brent Crude was up 0.17 percent at $72.40, holding steady after a 3-percent plunge yesterday, when China and the United States traded a new round of tariffs and counter-tariffs on US$16 billion worth of each others' imports, with China slapping tariffs on 333 USA goods, including petroleum products.

One of Iran's biggest oil customers is buying more US crude.

International Olympic Committee has signed a contract to buy about 6 million barrels of U.S. crude oil under single tender for delivery in November 2018 to January 2019, he said. The negative trend in oil prices also harmed by the rise of the dollar exchange rate, which leads to the weakening of other commodities priced in the USA currency, such as crude oil. Trading volumes in crude oil have been particularly high on days when it has sold off.

US crude oil producers appear to have found an alternative buyer for cargoes no longer heading to China, with India on track to import record volumes in August.

"Oil has barely made its way above $69 and is struggling to gain further, trading in a tight range, as both the upward and downward elements co-exist, pulling prices from opposite directions", Kim Kwangrae, a commodities analyst at Samsung Futures Inc., said by phone from Seoul. Lee said the actual imposition of additional tariffs by the USA on Chinese products could be delayed and concerns about higher consumer prices in the US may discourage President Donald Trump's administration from imposing further tariffs.

Singapore-based brokerage Phillip Futures said on Wednesday that an escalating trade dispute between the United States and China has "unnerved investors on the prospect of lowered global oil demand growth".

Experts believe that the U.S. is pushing the World towards the "Third World War" over global policies, especially Iran.

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The renewed sanctions won't directly target Iranian oil until November, although U.S. President Donald Trump has said he wants as many countries as possible to cut their imports of Iranian crude to zero.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were at $69.15 per barrel, down 2 cents.

"The report was negative for prices with the smaller-than-expected drawdown in crude oil inventories and the decent sized rise in refined product inventories", said John Kilduff, a partner at Again Capital Management in NY.

Analysts estimated that Iranian production would drop further amid the restored sanctions and drive the oil price further up.

U.S. economic sanctions against Iran took effect this week. Iran's oil exports to India rose by more than 40,000 bpd from June to 706,452 bpd in July. The next stop for crude oil can be $70.35 and $71.10.

Earlier on Wednesday, government data showed China's imports of crude oil in July rose slightly after falling in the previous two months. U.S. gasoline stocks climbed 2.9 million barrels last week to 233.87 million barrels, while distillate stocks were up 1.23 million barrels at 125.42 million barrels. "We are going to work with individual countries on a case-by-case basis, but our goal is to reduce the amount of revenue and hard currency going into Iran", said a senior United States administration official on Monday. "We are going to work with individual countries on a case-by-case basis, but our goal is to reduce the amount of revenue and hard currency going into Iran", a senior USA administration official said on Monday. This is something that the market desperately needed, after getting slammed the previous day.

President Donald Trump has threatened to impose tariffs on almost all Chinese imports to the US.