NYMEX crude trades weaker but in a narrow range above $55 per barrel after a sharp 3.1% slide yesterday. Crude last week hit the highest level since November 2018 but failure to test the $58 per barrel led to some correction.
Crude fell yesterday as US President Donald Trump tweeted that prices are too high and called on OPEC to "relax and take it easy."
In 2018, when President Trump repeatedly expressed concerns about higher crude oil price and blamed OPEC for the same, OPEC officials agreed to raise production by nearly 1 million barrel per day. Crude fell sharply yesterday as President Trump's comments rekindled worries that OPEC may end its production cut. OPEC and allies have pledged to cut output by 1.2 million barrel per day from January to June 2019 to reduce oversupply.
Crude price came under pressure also on reports that Saudi Arabia has restarted production at the 1 million barrel per day Safaniyah oilfield. The oilfield was closed in mid-Feb for repairs after a vessel's anchor cut a power cable.
Crude fell also as optimism about US-China trade deal waned bringing a halt to gains in equity market. US President extended the March 1 deadline to impose higher import tariffs on China and also indicated possibility of a meeting with Chinese President to finalize a deal. However, President Trump on Monday also said that an agreement "might not happen at all.