U.S. oil prices jump as flooding hits Cushing hub
By Collin Eaton HOUSTON (Reuters) - U.S. crude futures gained more than 1% on Tuesday after flooding throughout the Midwest constrained crude flow from the main U.S
By Collin Eaton
HOUSTON (Reuters) - U.S. crude futures gained more than 1% on Tuesday after flooding throughout the Midwest constrained crude flow from the main U.S. storage hub in Cushing, Oklahoma.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures were trading at $59.43 a barrel by 12:46 p.m. CDT (1746 GMT), up 80 cents, or 1.4%, from its close on Friday before the long Memorial Day holiday weekend.
"Flooding seems to have impacted distribution hubs around the United States, slowing stuff coming out of Cushing and creating a bid on WTI," said Phillip Streible, senior market strategist at RJO Futures in Chicago.
Flooded areas of Arkansas and Oklahoma were bracing for more rain that will feed the already swollen Arkansas River, forecasters said on Tuesday. Up to 19 inches (48 cm) of rain have fallen so far in parts of Oklahoma over the month of May, the National Weather Service said, with more on the way.
Meanwhile, Brent crude futures were largely steady, just 18 cents, or 0.3%, higher at $70.29 a barrel.
The global benchmark repeatedly veered above and below the $70-mark in choppy trading, as prices were caught between fears of slowed economic growth and expectations that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies will extend their six-month deal to curb production.
OPEC and its allies including Russia, known as OPEC+, are due to meet over June 25-26 to discuss output policy, but it remains unclear whether their production pact will be extended.
"Saudi Arabia seems to be in favour" of extending production cuts as U.S. output rises, said Gene McGillian, vice president of market research at Tradition Energy.
"The market would have to adjust downwardly to adjust for the barrels" if OPEC ended its cut of 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd).
Brent futures last week registered a decline of 4.5% and WTI slid by 6.4% for its biggest weekly loss since December.
Last week's oil-price drop came after the government reported U.S. crude oil inventories have risen to 476.8 million barrels, their highest since July 2017. Weekly inventory data this week has been delayed a day due to Monday's Memorial Day holiday.
However, globally supplies have tightened because of the OPEC+ cuts so far this year, with political tensions in the Middle East adding to the upward pressure on prices. U.S. sanctions have also largely taken Iranian and Venezuelan crude out of global markets.
"There's a geopolitical premium that's helping to support prices," said John Kilduff, an analyst at Again Capital LLC.
Investors remained concerned the escalating trade war between the United States and China could hit the global economy and dent fuel consumption.
"The U.S.-China trade war isn't getting any better and it's really starting to weigh on growth," said Bill Baruch, president of Blue Line Futures in Chicago. "Demand for crude could fall."
(Additional reporting by Noah Browning and Henning Gloystein; Editing by Marguerita Choy and David Goodman)
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.