Trump calls on OPEC to ‘relax,’ says oil prices are too high

Trump calls on OPEC to ‘relax,’ says oil prices are too high

Trump calls on OPEC to ‘relax,’ says oil prices are too high

In the midst of the oil price spike scare, President Donald Trump warned the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) on Monday to "take it easy" on raising the price of oil.

Brent crude oil futures were down $1.43 at $65.69 a barrel at 1403 GMT, having earlier risen to a 2019 high of $67.47.

The losses have dented some of the gains made during the most recent rally, in which WTI futures rose 9.3 percent from a $52.41-per-barrel close on February 11 and to closing over $57 per barrel on Friday.

Prices have gained since the start of the year, partly on concern about the political situation in Venezuela and after Trump's new oil sanctions against Venezuela. "OPEC, please relax and take it easy", he wrote on Twitter. "World can not take a price hike - fragile!" Prior to Trump's tweet this morning, the price per barrel was over $57. The price fall eliminated gains made earlier that day amid rising market optimism.

OPEC members and non-OPEC producers such as Russian Federation are leading efforts to rebalance the market and support oil prices.

The risk to OPEC comes in the form of the so-called No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels Act, or NOPEC, an act resurrected by USA lawmakers that proposes making the organisation subject to the Sherman antitrust law, used more than a century ago to break up the oil empire of John Rockefeller.

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"But as far as the Saudis are concerned, today's tweets could even embolden their efforts toward restraint".

"If you read into it, I think there's speculation there will, in fact, be another round of waivers granted to countries and companies to buy Iranian oil", said John Kilduff, a partner at Again Capital Management, said about Trump's tweet.

The oil price has risen by around 20 per cent this year, aided primarily by OPEC's production cuts, as well as US sanctions on exports of crude from Iran and Venezuela.

Crude prices have risen by about 20 percent since the start of the year when the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and non-member producers, such as Russian Federation, cut production to reduce global supply. "That's also why you're seeing the negative reaction".

However, on November 5, Trump suddenly announced six-month waivers of Iranian crude oil.

OPEC-led supply cuts are eating away at the expected crude oversupply many experts expected for 2019.

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