Oil falls 1% on weaker oil demand growth, surprise gain in US crude stocks

The US Energy Information Administration lowered its 2019 world oil demand growth forecast by 160,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 1.22 million bpd. (Reuters)
Updated 12 June 2019
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Oil falls 1% on weaker oil demand growth, surprise gain in US crude stocks

  • The US Energy Information Administration lowered its 2019 world oil demand growth forecast by 160,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 1.22 million bpd

SEOUL: Oil prices fell more than 1 percent on Wednesday, weighed down by a weaker oil demand outlook and a rise in US crude inventories despite growing expectations of ongoing OPEC-led supply cuts.
Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil prices, were down 87 cents, or 1.4 percent, at $61.42 a barrel by 0231 GMT.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down 85 cents, or 1.6 percent, at $52.41 per barrel.
The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) cut its forecasts for 2019 world oil demand growth and US crude oil production in a monthly report released on Tuesday.
The EIA lowered its 2019 world oil demand growth forecast by 160,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 1.22 million bpd and wound back its forecast for 2019 US crude production to 12.32 million bpd, 140,000 bpd less than the May forecast.
A surprise increase in US crude stockpiles also kept oil prices under pressure.
“Investors have been concerned about the recent rise in stockpiles in the US,” ANZ bank said in a note.
US crude inventories rose by 4.9 million barrels in the week ended June 7 to 482.8 million barrels, according to data from the American Petroleum Institute (API) on Tuesday. That compared with analysts’ expectations for a decrease of 481,000 barrels.
Official data from the Energy Information Administration is due at 10:30 A.M. EDT (1430 GMT) on Wednesday.
Alongside concerns about rising supply, ongoing trade tensions between the United States and China, the world’s two biggest oil consumers, weighed on prices. US President Donald Trump said on Tuesday he was holding up a trade deal with China.
“Oil prices have struggled to retain bullish gains as traders stay cautious over heightened geopolitical risks and persistent weakness in the global economic backdrop,” said Benjamin Lu, commodities analyst at Phillips Future in Singapore.
With the next meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) set for the end of June, the market is eyeing whether the world’s major oil producers would prolong their supply cuts.
OPEC, along with non-members including Russia in a group called OPEC+, have limited their oil output by 1.2 million bpd since the start of the year to prop up prices.
The Energy Minister for the United Arab Emirates Suhail Al-Mazroui said on Tuesday that OPEC members were close to reaching an agreement on continuing production cuts.
OPEC is set to meet on June 25, followed by talks with its allies led by Russia on June 26. But Russia suggested a date change to July 3 to 4, sources within the group previously told Reuters.


Wife of former Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn seeks US President Donald Trump’s help

Updated 1 min 31 sec ago
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Wife of former Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn seeks US President Donald Trump’s help

  • Carlos Ghosn is awaiting trial in Japan over charges of under-reporting his salary for years while at Nissan
LONDON: The wife of ex-Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn on Monday reached out to US President Donald Trump, asking him to press Japan at upcoming talks about “fair trial conditions.”
Carlos Ghosn is awaiting trial in Japan over charges of under-reporting his salary for years while at Nissan and using company funds for personal expenses. The 65-year-old denies the accusations.
“World leaders are going to be meeting at the G20 at the end of the month,” Carole Ghosn told the BBC in an interview broadcast on Monday.
“I’d like President Trump to speak to Prime Minister (Shinzo) Abe about fair conditions, fair trial conditions, and to let me speak to my husband — and also to respect this presumption of innocence until proven guilty.”
She added that the last time she saw her husband was on April 4 when prosecutors stormed their apartment in the early hours.
Carlos Ghosn, who is a French citizen, was freed in Japan on $4.5 million bail in April after being detained on fresh charges but is living under strict conditions including restrictions on seeing his wife.
Under those bail conditions, Ghosn must stay in Japan and live in a court-appointed residence with cameras to monitor his movements.
“I think all of this could have been dealt with internally within the company. This didn’t need to go this far,” Carole Ghosn added on Monday.
“On top of this, my husband is innocent and time will prove the truth.”
This year’s G20 summit will be held in the Japanese city of Osaka from June 28-29.