Investing.com – Oil prices fell on Friday after data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed inventories of U.S. crude fell by 4.302 million barrels for the week ended Aug. 31, beating expectations for a draw of 1.294 million barrels.
West Texas Crude Oil WTI Futures for October delivery was down 0.03% to $67.75 a barrel as of 12:11 AM ET (04:11 GMT). Meanwhile Brent Oil Futures for November delivery, the benchmark for oil prices outside the U.S., slipped 0.1% to $76.42.
The large draw in crude supplies comes despite a modest climb in imports by about 0.500 million barrels per day (bpd), while exports declined by 0.271 million bpd, data from EIA showed.
Production was unchanged at 11.0 million bpd for the second-straight week, which also supported the draw in crude supplies.
Gasoline inventories unexpectedly rose by 1.845 million barrels, confounding expectations for a draw of 0.810 million barrels, while supplies of distillate — the class of fuels that includes diesel and heating oil — rose by 3.119 million barrels, against expectations for a build of just 0.742 million barrels.
Elsewhere, the upcoming U.S. sanctions on Iran would continue to affect outlook of oil prices this year, according to analysts.
“With the anticipation of up to 1.5 million barrels per day affected by the U.S. sanctions on Iran, one would expect prices to move higher in the weeks ahead,” said Stephen Innes, head of trading for Asia/Pacific at futures brokerage OANDA.
Innes then noted he believed price outlook for crude remains bullish largely due to the upcoming U.S. sanctions targeting Iran’s oil sector from November.
Ongoing emerging market weakness as well as potential new U.S. import tariffs on Chinese goods were also weighing on oil market sentiment, traders said.
The Trump administration could place tariffs on an additional $200 billion worth of Chinese goods as soon as today, according to reports. China’s commerce ministry has said the country would retaliate if the U.S….
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