Oil Higher as Trade, Saudi Arabia Comments Drive Prices Higher

Investing.com - Oil prices were higher on Tuesday as Saudi Arabian officials said they are comfortable with rising Brent prices.

West Texas crude oil futures for November surged 1.35% to $69.61 a barrel as of 10:35 AM ET (14:35 GMT). Meanwhile Brent crude futures, the benchmark for oil prices outside the U.S., increased 1.46% to $79.19.

Saudi Arabian officials said they are comfortable with Brent prices going above $80 a barrel as markets adjust to the loss of supply from U.S. sanctions.

The comments came after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Russia warned that U.S. sanctions against Iran, OPEC’s third-largest supplier, could put pressure on markets. The sanctions, which are expected to go into effect on Nov. 4, have already caused Iran’s crude exports to fall.

“When you have major producers facing supply challenges, it’s of concern” for OPEC and consumers alike, OPEC Secretary-General Mohammad Barkindo said.

Meanwhile, the U.S.-Sino trade war escalated after China said it would impose new tariffs on U.S. goods worth $60 billion, effective Sept. 24. The new tariffs are in response to U.S. tariffs on Monday of 10% on $200 billion in Chinese goods, which will go up to 25% at the end of the year.

President Donald Trump previously stated that the U.S. would impose tariffs on another $267 billion of additional imports if China retaliates.

Investors were also focused for weekly data on crude stockpiles to be released from the American Petroleum Institute later in the session.

In other energy trading, gasoline RBOB futures rose 2.07% at $2.0140 a gallon, while heating oil increased 1.55% to $2.2409 a gallon. Natural gas futures surged 2.06% to $2.872 per million British thermal units.