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Oil pares gains, market supported by Iran worries

02 May 2018

Crude rose after Israeli intelligence about Iranian nuclear ambitions heightened concern an global accord may unravel.

Futures in NY are up 3.9 per cent this month, even after a near 1 per cent drop on Monday following data that showed an increase in U.S. drilling activity.

U.S. President Donald Trump has until May 12 to decide whether to restore sanctions on Iran that were lifted after a 2015 worldwide agreement over its nuclear program.

Trading on the Shanghai International Energy Exchange is closed for a Chinese public holiday.

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In conclusion, Ihor Dusaniwsky, managing director of S3 Partners and the author of the note, said that short-selling activity is clearly moving in tandem with the oil price.

Crude has rallied this month amid heightened geopolitical tensions and Trump's indications that he might scrap the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran.

But while USA producers are accelerating shale drilling in areas in the United States, higher production has not necessarily translated into stronger refining results for some oil companies.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell 3 cents to $68.16 a barrel. Total volume traded was about 17% below the 100-day average.

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Crude oil stocks rose by 2,170 MBBL last week to 429,737 MBBL, from 427,567 MBBL.

Brent crude for June settlement, which expires Monday, added 9 cents to $74.73/bbl on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.

Money managers hold record positions in Brent crude futures and options, lured in by the hefty premium of the front-month June contract over subsequent months that makes it profitable to invest in crude over the longer term. French President Emmanuel Macron's prediction that the USA will pull out of the nuclear deal has boosted speculation over reduced shipments from the Islamic Republic.

On Friday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said at a news conference that Trump would exit the deal next month "absent a substantial fix". "That gives some hope to the market here that if you take the United States out of the Iran nuclear deal, you may still have some kind of scrappy deal left on the sideline". US crude production rose by 46,000 BPD the previous week, to 10.59 MMBPD.

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In a research note, the financial technology and analytics firm claimed that short interest in the U.S./Canadian oil and gas and consumable fuel sector has increased by 27% to $54.9 billion since WTI crude recovered from its year-to-date low of $58.98 in mid-February to reach $67.75. Off-topic, inappropriate or insulting comments will be removed. All comments are subject to editorial review.

Oil pares gains, market supported by Iran worries