Oil prices drop as ‘trifecta of trouble’ may cause glut

Oil prices drop as ‘trifecta of trouble’ may cause glut thumbnail
NEW YORK: Oil prices fell more than 1 percent on Thursday, surrendering early gains as investors focused on swelling global crude supply, which is increasing more quickly than many had expected.

The market focused on record U.S. crude production and signals from Iraq, Abu Dhabi and Indonesia that output will grow more quickly than expected in 2019. Fears of the potential supply glut dampened a rally early in the session driven by Chinese data that showed record oil imports.

“There’s a trifecta of trouble created by U.S. stockpile builds, OPEC overproduction and the watering down of Iran sanctions,” said Bob Yawger, director of futures at Mizuho in New York.

Brent crude futures, the global benchmark, fell 92 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $71.15 a barrel by 12:59 p.m. EDT (1759 GMT). U.S. crude futures fell 67 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $61.00 a barrel.

Earlier this week, Brent dropped to its lowest since mid-August.

China’s crude imports rose to 9.61 million barrels per day (bpd) in October, up 32 percent from a year earlier, customs data showed.

China will still be allowed to import some Iranian crude under a waiver to U.S. sanctions that will enable it to purchase 360,000 bpd for 180 days, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters on Tuesday.

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