Iran tells Trump: Stop tweeting, it's driving up oil prices

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- The price of US crude oil has shrugged off a demand by US President Donald Trump that OPEC cuts prices. Analysts however say that he cannot have both; the White House can either drive Iran's oil exports to zero, or it can have moderate USA gasoline prices, but it probably cannot have both.

"OPEC has not defined oil prices for the past 30 years, it's a financial market".

On Wednesday he tweeted that OPEC is "doing little to help", adding that, "if anything, they are driving prices higher". "You impose sanctions on major producers, founders of OPEC, and yet you are asking them to reduce prices?!"

Brent crude futures LCOc1 lost 85 cents to settle at $77.39 a barrel.

OPEC and its allies agreed earlier this month to a modest increase in output to dampen the oil price rally, which hit a 3-1/2 year high. The global benchmark traded at a US$6.11 premium to WTI for the same month.

"Opec will, from July 1, strive to adhere to the overall conformity levels for the remaining duration of the Declaration of Cooperation", said Suhail bin Mohammed Faraj Faris Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Industry, on Tuesday.

"On the bearish side both Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation are living up to their promise to increase output", said Tamas Varga of oil broker PVM.

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"With those continued drawdowns at Cushing, we were approaching a situation where you could soon start to consider us nearing a shortage", Kilduff said. "Looming U.S. sanctions on Iran, however, are causing serious concerns amongst market players".

The average price of gasoline in the U.S. has risen above $3 per gallon.

"Your tweets have driven the prices up by at least US$10 per barrel", Iran's OPEC governor Hossein Kazempour Ardebili said in a message to Trump, carried by Iranian Oil Ministry's Shana news service.

High oil prices make fracking more economically viable for the USA, now the third largest producer of oil worldwide.

If that happens, "Chinese demand would then shift to other suppliers".

It turns out the reason is to be found in an article published moments ago by Al Jazeera, according to which the Saudis "have agreed to U.S. demands to pump more oil", and which quoted the official Saudi Press Agency that Saudi Arabia's cabinet on Tuesday "endorsed the kindgdom's readiness to pump more oil to maintain market balance and stability".

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