Oil falls from four-year highs; Wall Street weighs

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Oil falls from four-year highs; Wall Street weighs

In a desperate bid to avoid being blamed for $100 oil, Trump tried bullying OPEC producers to boost production levels to prevent further price hikes ahead of the US mid-term elections in early November.

Iranian Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh said on Tuesday Iran will go full-throttle to maintain its market share as he blamed Trump for the surge in oil prices.

However, high crude prices, combined with widespread emerging market currency weakness, threaten growth. The ongoing outlook for a tightening of crude markets overshadowed forecasts for a second weekly gain in US stockpiles.

During the latest meeting, "both sides actively discussed the US' reimposition of sanctions against Iran", while Tokyo reiterated its basic principle that Japanese corporate activity should not be impacted by the United States sanctions, Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement Tuesday, Platts reported.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose 1 cent to settle at $74.34 a barrel. The contract is on course for a gain of around 2.5 percent for the week.

Other oil-market news Gasoline futures were little changed at $2.0983 a gallon While U.S. oil has been swept up in a global rally for the past four weeks on growing fears of a supply crunch, a closer look at the futures market signals American crude is weakening. Total volume traded was about 41 percent below the 100-day average. The global benchmark crude traded at a $9.75 premium to WTI for the same month.

While big producing nations say supply is ample, hedge funds and speculators are increasingly skeptical of that argument, betting the market could rally further as sanctions on Iran's crude exports return on November 4. The startup could lead to an additional 500,000 barrels a day in production.

In the USA, crude inventories are estimated to have increased 1.5 million barrels last week, according to a Bloomberg survey of 13 analysts. Accordingly, during the January to August period of this year, Korea's imports of USA crude oil rose more than five-fold to 26.87 million barrels from a year before. That would be the largest net build since March if confirmed by the Energy Information Administration's figures Wednesday.

India imports more than 4 million bpd of oil and is one of the biggest buyers of Iranian crude, along with China, and has been hurt by a slide in the rupee against the dollar.

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