Oil prices have declined following a message posted on social media by the US President Donald Trump, asking the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to slash prices for crude.
Benchmark Brent crude futures LCOc1 slipped 54 cents, or 0.7%, to trade at $77.70 per barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 dipped 37 cents, or 0.5%, to reach $73.77, Reuters reported.
On 4 July, Trump accused OPEC members of driving up fuel prices and asked them to do more to address the price issue.
Trump wrote on his personal Twitter account: “The OPEC Monopoly must remember that gas prices are up & they are doing little to help.
“If anything, they are driving prices higher as the United States defends many of their members for very little $’s.
“This must be a two-way street, REDUCE PRICING NOW!”
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Last month, OPEC and Russia decided to increase supplies to ease tightness in the market.
The impending US sanctions against Iran, targeting oil exports, have contributed to the recent hikes in crude prices, with support from unplanned disruptions in Canada, Venezuela, and Libya.
National Australia Bank (NAB) was quoted by the news agency as saying: “A key driver of the rise in prices has been the OPEC-Russia deal to cut oil output, compounded by collapsing Venezuelan production, and the US decision to end the Iran deal.”
Meanwhile, the intensifying trade war between the US and China triggered another sell-off in Asian stocks on 5 July.
In response to Washington’s tariffs on imports, China threatened to introduce a duty of 25% on US crude imports.
The US government is planning to impose tariffs on $34bn Chinese imports beginning 6 July.