MTECHTIPS;-Crude Oil Gains In Asia As Geopolitical Tensions Stoke

MTECHTIPS;-Crude Oil Gains In Asia As Geopolitical Tensions Stoke Markets

MTECHTIPS-Crude oil gained in Asia on Wednesday with geopolitical tensions highlighted as street protests against economic hardships appeared set to continue in Iran and US President Donald Trump tweeted that he too had a “nuclear button” in a warning to North Korean leader Kim Jon-UN. On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for February delivery rose 0.08% to $60.42 a barrel, while on London’s Intercontinental Exchange, Brent gained 0.09% to trade at $66.55 a barrel. On Wednesday, the American Petroleum Institute will report its weekly estimates of US crude and refined product inventories followed by official data from the Energy Information Administration on Thursday.Initial analyst estimates see a 5.260 million drop in crude, a 1.030 million build in distillates and a 1.864 million gain in gasoline stocks. Military officials say that a ballistic missile launch by North Korea is possible, if not likely, in the coming days. US intelligence has seen the kind of activity (moving around equipment, etc) that has, in the past, presaged an ICBM launch, according to two officials who requested anonymity. One official said that a possible launch could happen mid-week. The other official characterized the timeline as the ā€œshort-term.ā€ Iran faces another day of demonstrations in some of the country’s most widespread street protests in nearly a decade, with protesters demanding an end to the Islamic Republic regime and a change in leadership. Overnight, crude oil prices settled lower on Tuesday, as the North Sea Forties pipeline restarted offsetting support from potential supply disruptions in Iran amid ongoing anti-government protests.

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