Energy markets mixed on higher United States crude oil inventories

Crude oil flat after recent pullback

Crude oil futures are trading lower early Friday.

One day after the crude prices declined due to US president Donald Trump hinting that his country and France might be able to reach an agreement with regards to the Iran nuclear deal, oil prices on Thursday rose based on French president Emmanuel Macron stating that he thinks Trump will scrap the deal and impose new sanctions against the Islamic republic anyway.

Crude oil prices are flat today - both WTI and Brent are now trading sideways. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts. But within the next couple of months, prices are likely to drop below $60 per barrel as markets digest the fallout of the United States steel tariffs and the implications of further retaliation from countries most affected by the ongoing trade war-which many think was unnecessary, especially in the wake of a global economic upturn in the last few years-leading to a bearish trend reversal in global crude-oil markets.

Meanwhile, West Texas Intermediate gained 39 cents, or 0.57 per cent to Dollars 68.44, while global benchmark Brent rose 50 cents, or 0.68 per cent to USD 74.50 a barrel. Meanwhile, the US benchmark crude has averaged around $66 a barrel so far this month and analysts and traders surveyed by Bloomberg are bullish on USA futures as OPEC trims output against a backdrop of record American crude output.

President Trump will announce his decision about the Iran deal on May 12.

Soaring U.S. output has made WTI crude around $6 per barrel cheaper than Brent and drawn exports to record highs over 2 million bpd.

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The Trump administration has until May 12 to decide whether it will extend the sanctions waiver linked to Iran's nuclear deal, which would likely result in a reduction of its oil exports.

Oil output in Venezuela PRODN-VE, a member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), has fallen from nearly 2.5 million barrels per day (bpd) to just around 1.5 million bpd now due to political and economic turmoil in the South American country.

The authority also said gasoline inventories had gone up by 800,000 barrels in the reporting period, compared with a 3-million-barrel decline a week earlier.

Increases in the US currency make dollar-priced oil more expensive for holders of other currencies. Chief Financial Officer Brad Halverson said, however, that first-quarter adjusted profit per share "will be the high watermark for the year".

With US output and exports surging, some analysts warn that the 20% climb in Brent prices since February is starting to look overdone.

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