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August 2, 2018

Brent crude futures prices recover to reach $72.55 per barrel

Benchmark Brent crude futures have steadied, increasing by 16 cents to trade at $72.55 per barrel, after posting declines for the past two days.

Benchmark Brent crude futures have steadied, increasing by 16 cents to trade at $72.55 per barrel, after posting declines for the past two days.

The contract rose by 0.2% after falling 2.5% on 1 August, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures went up six cents, or 0.1%, to touch $67.72 a barrel, Reuters reported.

Crude oil prices recovered after losses caused by an increase in US crude inventories and worries regarding the ongoing trade war between the US and Asia superpower China.

Markets are concerned about the potential impact of the trade spat on global economic growth.

Ayers Alliance chief investment officer Jonathan Barratt said: “A clear definition around the macros is what the market is looking for and until we get that, it is likely to be volatile in the range.”

US President Donald Trump has upped the ante by proposing a 25% duty on $200bn worth of Chinese imports, up from the previously announced 10%.

“Both futures recorded monthly declines last month, with Brent crude futures falling more than 6% and US crude dropped about 7%.”

The trade tensions are only set to intensify as China responded saying it would retaliate with appropriate measures if the US takes further steps on trade.

Both futures recorded monthly declines last month, with Brent crude futures falling more than 6% and US crude dropped about 7%.

The declines represent the biggest monthly falls for both futures since July 2016.

Meanwhile, oil markets have also been affected by renewed US sanctions on Iran, a major OPEC producer.

Barratt said: “There are a lot of escalation points that could occur very quickly and that worries me.”

Last week, US crude stockpiles jumped 3.8 million barrels, according to data released by the Energy Information Administration .

The hike in inventories was against expectations, which forecasted a decline of 2.8 million barrels.

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