Reuters: Oil creeps up as MidEast tensions flare, but gains capped by glum demand outlook

09:00, 23 July 2019
Economy
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REUTERS

Oil prices edged higher on Tuesday amid lingering concerns about possible supply disruptions in the Middle East, but an overall weaker demand outlook kept a lid on gains, helped by a vow by the International Energy Agency (IEA) to take swift action to keep global oil markets adequately supplied.

Brent crude LCOc1 futures rose 12 cents, or 0.19%, to $63.38 a barrel by 0542 GMT, Reuters said

The international benchmark rose more than 1% in the previous session, following Iran's seizure of a British tanker last week that stoked fears of supply disruptions from the energy-rich Gulf.

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West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 futures were up 7 cents at $56.29 per barrel.

Meanwhile, the IEA said it was closely monitoring developments in the Strait of Hormuz as relations between Iran and Britain remain tense.

"The IEA is ready to act quickly and decisively in the event of a disruption to ensure that global markets remain adequately supplied," it said, adding that executive director Fatih Birol has been in talks with IEA members, associate governments and other nations.

The oil market is currently well supplied, with oil production exceeding demand in the first half of 2019, pushing up global stocks by 900,000 barrels per day, the IEA said in a statement.

That comes against the backdrop of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and some non-affiliated producers, including Russia, withholding supplies since the start of the year to prop up prices.

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