Iran to only trade with countries that import its oil

Iran's OPEC governor Hossein Kazempour Ardebili

Iran's OPEC governor Hossein Kazempour Ardebili

Brent crude futures were at $77.82 per barrel, up 6 cents from their last close.

Oil held near US$74 (RM299) a barrel amid estimates that United States crude inventories declined for a fourth week, compounding concerns that global markets are growing increasingly tight.

However, oil prices have shot up and Trump, anxious about the impact on United States voters ahead of November midterm elections, is appealing to the Saudis for help.

In his latest tweet on the subject on Wednesday, Trump said that the "OPEC Monopoly must remember that gas prices are up & they are doing little to help".

Recent price rises have also been spurred by a US announcement that it plans to re-introduce sanctions against Iran from November, targeting oil exports.

U.S. president, Trump in a series of tweets, is reported to have called for Saudi officials, which represent the most influential oil producer in OPEC, to help pump more crude and lower prices. This must be a two way street.

Oil output cuts by OPEC and allies, including Russian Federation, since January 2017 have reduced a glut of crude. Although Saudi Arabia has pledged the organisation will boost supplies, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said that losses in some members - notably Venezuela and Iran - will lead to a new rally.

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Trump urged Saudi Arabia to pump more oil.

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"A key driver of the rise in prices has been the OPEC-Russia deal to cut oil output, compounded by collapsing Venezuelan production and the USA decision to end the Iran deal", National Australia Bank (NAB) said in its July outlook.

USA crude inventories probably declined by 5 million barrels last week, according to a Bloomberg survey.

Meanwhile, China's commerce ministry said on Thursday the United States is "opening fire on the entire world", warning that Washington's proposed tariffs on Chinese goods will hit worldwide supply chains.

USA tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese imports took effect as a deadline passed on Friday and Beijing has vowed to respond immediately in kind, setting the two world's biggest economies on a path toward a full-blown trade conflict.

Despite the pressure from the US, Indian official sources who briefed the media on Wednesday made it clear that Iran, India's third largest supplier of oil, remains an "important near neighbour".

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