Oil rises as US sanctions Venezuela

2018-05-22 18:40:16 GMT (Economies.com)
Oil rises as US sanctions Venezuela

Oil futures rose in American trade to near 3-1/5 year highs as the dollar index fell off December 13 highs for another session, following earlier data from China, the world's largest energy importer, and the US, and after President Donald Trump imposed additional sanctions on Venezuela. 


As of 05:14 GMT, US crude futures due on June 15 rose 0.15% to $72.35 a barrel from the opening of $72.24, marking November 27, 2014, while Brent futures due on July 15 climbed 0.61% to $79.70 a barrel from the opening of $79.22, as the dollar index inched down 0.12% to 93.56 from the opening of 93.68. 


From the US, the Richmond Manufacturing Index rose to 16 in May from 3 in April, beating expectations of 9. 


Now markets await the Federal Open Market Committee's minutes for the May meeting, at which policymakers voted to stay overnight interest rates unchanged at below 1.75%. 


Later this week, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell will participate in a panel discussion titled "The future of central banking?" at the Sveriges Riksbank Anniversary Conference, in Stockholm.


The US announced new sanctions on Venezuela that would make it harder for the government to sell assets, after President Nicholas Maduro was reelected in what Washington described as a sham election.


US Vice President Mike Pence said the presidential elections in Venezuela weren't free nor fair, and deals a "further blow to the proud democratic tradition of Venezuela".


Venezuelan oil output is already down nearly one million bpd to 1.5 million bpd due to political and economic turmoil, from 2.5 million bpd in early 2016. 


The US has also hardened its position with Iran, with sanctions expected to cut Iranian crude exports and bolster prices firmly towards $80.  


US output rose to a record high at 10.72 million bpd, nearing Russia's highest levels at 11 million bpd. 


Baker Hughes, an oil services company, reported no change in the US oil rig count at 844 rigs, already the highest since March 2015. 

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