OIL PRICES DOWN $36.99
Oil prices fell on Tuesday on concerns about the pace of economic growth in China and a stronger U.S. dollar, handing back some of the gains triggered by an escalation of tensions in the Middle East.
Global benchmark Brent crude prices fell 23 cents to $36.99 a barrel at 0910 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude slipped 7 cents to $36.69 a barrel.
"It is the Chinese stock market sell-off and the strong dollar that are pressuring oil," said Tamas Varga, oil analyst at London brokerage PVM Oil Associates.
Chinese stock markets fell again on Tuesday after a 7-percent dive on Monday, rattling markets worldwide and prompting action from the central bank and stock market regulator.
Concerns about China's economy, the world's second-largest consumer, were worsened by news that national rail freight volumes logged their biggest ever annual decline in 2015.
"Last year we talked about supply and demand even surprised on the upside. But with this newsflow from China, demand fears have come back," said Frank Klumpp, oil analyst at Stuttgart-based Landesbank Baden-Wuerttemberg.
The U.S. dollar rose against a basket of other currencies, weighing on oil prices as it made holding dollar-denominated commodities more expensive.
The oil market largely shrugged off rising political tensions in the Middle East. On Tuesday, Kuwait also recalled its ambassador to Iran following attacks on Saudi missions by Iranian protesters, state news agency KUNA reported.
Analysts said that as long as the conflict did not impact oil production in the region it would not have a consequence for oil prices.
ANZ bank said the tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran will "reduce the likelihood of any collaboration between the two oil majors regarding oil output as Iran re-enters the international market once sanctions are lifted".
Data from U.S. industry group American Petroleum Institute expected at 4:30 p.m. ET (2130 GMT) will give an indication of U.S. crude inventory levels.
Genscape data published on Monday said crude inventories at Cushing, OK, had reached an all-time high in the week ending Jan. 1.
A Reuters poll indicated stocks had fallen 500,000 barrels in the week.
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BLOOMBERG - Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told a Texas judge that Exxon Mobil Corp. doesn’t have a right to see privileged documents related to a $2 million fine assessed against the energy company for violating sanctions related to Russia’s 2014 invasion of Ukraine.
NPD - Preliminary production figures for June 2018 show an average daily production of 1 747 000 barrels of oil, NGL and condensate, which is an increase of 88 000 barrels per day compared to May.
NOVATEK - In the first half 2018, NOVATEK’s hydrocarbons production totaled 264.3 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe), including 32.93 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas and 5,864 thousand tons of liquids (gas condensate and crude oil), resulting in an increase in total hydrocarbons production by 6.3 million boe, or by 2.4%, as compared to the first half 2017.
REUTERS - Brent crude futures LCOc1 were down 75 cents, or 1 percent, at $78.11 a barrel by 0308 GMT, having fallen as low as $77.60. U.S. crude CLc1 was down 55 cents, or 0.7 percent, at $73.56.