Oil prices surge as Saudis, Russia won't open spigots
By Jessica Resnick-Ault NEW YORK (Reuters) - Global Benchmark Brent crude jumped more than 3 percent on Monday to a four-year high above $80 a barrel after Saudi Arabia and Russia ruled out any immediate increase in production despite calls by U.S. President Donald Trump for action to raise global supply. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and non-OPEC states, including top producer Russia, gathered in Algiers on Sunday for a meeting that ended with no formal recommendation for any additional supply boost to counter falling supply from Iran
By Jessica Resnick-Ault
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Global Benchmark Brent crude jumped more than 3 percent on Monday to a four-year high above $80 a barrel after Saudi Arabia and Russia ruled out any immediate increase in production despite calls by U.S. President Donald Trump for action to raise global supply.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and non-OPEC states, including top producer Russia, gathered in Algiers on Sunday for a meeting that ended with no formal recommendation for any additional supply boost to counter falling supply from Iran.
"The market's still being driven by concerns about Iranian and Venezuelan supply," said Gene McGillian, director of market research at Tradition Energy in Stamford. "The failure of the producers to address that adequately this weekend is creating a buying opportunity."
OPEC leader Saudi Arabia and its biggest oil-producer ally outside the group, Russia, on Sunday effectively rebuffed Trump's demand for moves to cool the market.
"I do not influence prices," Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih told reporters on Sunday.
Trump said last week that OPEC "must get prices down now!", but Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said on Monday OPEC had not responded positively to Trump's demands.
"It is now increasingly evident, that in the face of producers reluctant to raise output, the market will be confronted with supply gaps in the next three-six months that it will need to resolve through higher oil prices," BNP Paribas oil strategist Harry Tchilinguirian told Reuters Global Oil Forum.
Commodity traders Trafigura and Mercuria said Brent could rise to $90 per barrel by Christmas and pass $100 in early 2019, as markets tighten once U.S. sanctions against Iran are fully implemented from November.
JPMorgan said U.S. sanctions on Iran could lead to a loss of 1.5 million barrels per day, while Mercuria warned that as much as 2 million bpd could be knocked out of the market.
Concerns about production shortfalls are encouraging traders to place more long bets, boosting Brent prices, said Brian LaRose, a technical analyst at United-ICAP.
"This is the seventh time over the last couple of months that we have challenged the highs," he said, referring to individual monthly contracts, rather than a continuation contract. If Brent prices climb past $82 a barrel, he said prices up to $90 would be a near-term possibility.
Some have said softening demand from trade tensions between the U.S. and China to offset loss of Iranian supply, but Tradition's McGillian said that unless trade tensions show signs of eroding Chinese demand, oil prices will surge further.
U.S. commercial crude oil inventories
(Reporting by Jessica Resnick-Ault in NEW YORK, Christopher Johnson in LONDON and Henning Gloystein in SINGAPORE; Editing by Marguerita Choy and David Gregorio)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.