US crude stockpiles unexpectedly rise in week

US crude stockpiles unexpectedly rise in week

China's yuan strengthened against the dollar and its exports unexpectedly returned to growth in July on improved global demand despite US trade pressure.

Brent crude is falling into bear market territory, almost 20 percent off its April peak.

This week, EIA reduced its forecast US demand for crude and liquid fuels.

International Brent oil futures settled at $58.98/barrel, climbing 3 cents, or 0.06%, from its previous close and trading consistently low.

Demand growth fears have had a detrimental impact on crude prices over the last couple of days, with Brent dipping firmly under $60 a barrel and WTI racing towards the $50 psychological benchmark, yet a cursory review of the EIA August STEO reveals a fundamentally bullish picture for the oil market.

While China said the recent yuan depreciation was decided by the market, not Beijing, the USA has labeled the nation a currency manipulator, fueling concerns the trade conflict may escalate.

EIA's weekly report shows a surprise buildup in crude oil inventories.

Oil prices tumbled up to 5% on Wednesday to a fresh seven-month low, extending recent heavy losses following an unexpected build in US crude stockpiles and fears of lower crude demand due to deepening U.S.

USA crude stocks rose last week, while gasoline and distillate inventories also rose, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday. Deputy Oil Minister Amir Hossein Zamaninia said in early May that Iran has mobilized all its resources to sell oil in a "grey market", to circumvent illegitimate USA sanctions against the country.

Last week, news that President Trump is considering a new 10% tariff on $300 billion of Chinese goods sent the price of WTI down by as much as 8%. Weak demand in established markets is spurring Vitol to focus on emerging economies, he said.

Josh Graves, senior market strategist at RJO Futures, suggested there is no reason not to believe the downward trading trend will continue: "Crude oil inventories were disappointing and the stock market is in worrisome territory". -China trade dispute worsened, spurring fears it would morph into a currency war.

While the U.S. Treasury Department's labeling of China is largely symbolic, with only modest potential punishments compared with the steps President Donald Trump has already taken against the Asian nation, it underscores the rapidly deteriorating relationship between the two nations.

Tensions in the Middle East remain high after Iran seized a number of tankers in recent weeks in the Strait of Hormuz, a major chokepoint for oil shipments.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih and US Energy Secretary Rick Perry on Tuesday said both sides expressed concern over threats targeting freedom of maritime traffic in the Arabian Gulf as they met in Washington.

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