Oil pops in the overnight session, WTI nearing $75 as Libya declares force majeure on key oil supplies

  • Oil is back on the rise as supply considerations continue to worry barrel bidders.
  • Saudi Arabia doesn't seem to be in a rush to fulfill Trump's request for an extra 2 million barrels per day.

Crude oil caught a leg up in early Asia trading, with WTI peaking for the week at 74.80 and now back slightly into 74.50.

Libya's National Oil Corporation declared 'force majeure', or unforeseeable circumstances, as the country's continued struggles with internal conflicts see approximately 850,000 barrels per day after losing control of Zueitina and Hariga ports this week.

Oil has been leaning to the bullish side this week after dipping from the weekend's headlines that Trump has encouraged Saudi Arabia to increase their production to make up for market shortfalls from Iran and Venezuela. Oil hesitated at the start of the week, but traders are coming back to the buy side of the table as markets realized Saudi Arabia is in no rush to push oil prices higher again after recently pushing OPEC to lift production limits just last month.

The US' harsh trade sanctions on Iran has the US asking allies to embargo Iranian oil from their markets, despite the US being the only country that has withdrawn from the Iran accord, but President Trump's vehemence that Iran be punished by being locked out of oil markets is still keeping oil prices elevated, and Trump is in the tenuous position of wanting to keep oil prices lower while also barring Iranian oil production.

WTI levels to watch

WTI marked in a new high for 2018 at 74.80, and with crude nearing the critical 75.00 level bulls will be looking for a solid push, though the thin liquidity in the Asian markets could quickly see crude take a bearish turn, falling back into last week's swing low of 67.70.

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