Oil prices hold ground, but set for 4 percent weekly fall

Brent crude futures were down 21 cents at $84.79 a barrel by 0434 GMT after a 1.3 percent gain on Tuesday

Brent crude futures were down 21 cents at $84.79 a barrel by 0434 GMT after a 1.3 percent gain on Tuesday

Oil prices slumped to two-week lows on Thursday as global stock markets fell, with investor sentiment made more bearish by a report showing USA crude inventories rising more than expected.

Brent crude futures edged up 13 cents to $80.39 a barrel by 0042 GMT.

US crude futures fell 2 cents to $70.95.

Iran's crude exports fell further in the first week of October, according to tanker data and an industry source, taking a major hit from USA sanctions and throwing a challenge to other OPEC oil producers as they seek to cover the shortfall. The facility is the only port in the United States capable of fully loading and unloading a tanker with a capacity of 2 million barrels of oil.

Iran's crude exports fell further in the first week of October, according to tanker data and an industry source, as buyers sought alternatives ahead of US sanctions that take effect on November 4.

India's dependence on the Middle Eastern countries for its crude oil needs has increased from 58 percent in 2014-15 to 63.7 percent in the April-January period of this fiscal year, he said.

Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh on Monday described a Saudi claim that the kingdom could replace Iran's crude exports as "nonsense".

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The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries cut its forecast of global demand growth for oil next year for a third straight month, citing headwinds facing the broader economy from trade disputes and volatile emerging markets.

The International Energy Agency, the West's energy watchdog said in its monthly report that the market looked "adequately supplied for now" and trimmed its forecasts for world oil demand growth this year and next. Moreover, presently, the Indian federal government is struggling with higher oil prices and a weakening Rupee (domestic currency) against the US currency that also weighs on its oil import bill. It is the most since Hurricane Nate a year ago curtailed more than 90 percent of Gulf oil production.

Platts reported that the 33.07 million barrels in last month were the highest OPEC has manufactured since July 2017, if the Republic of Congo is not included in the list. USA sanction go into place on November 4th.

Before the re-imposition of USA sanctions, Iran was India's third-largest oil supplier behind Saudi Arabia and Iraq. Platts estimates crude oil volumes have fallen 11.5 percent, to 1.7 million barrels per day in September.

USA oil output is expected to rise 1.39 million bpd to a record 10.74 million bpd, the EIA said in its monthly forecast on Wednesday.

Stock markets worldwide bounced back on Friday after a multi-day sell-off but remained on track for their biggest weekly losses in months, while U.S. Treasury yields inched higher and the dollar held its gains.

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