Oil falls over a percent on trade tariffs, WTI nearing $73.00

Oil falls after Libya ports reopen, Trump tariff threat

Oil prices suffered steep falls on Wednesday after Libya said it would boost supply, even as investors fear that trade tensions will hit demand.

The bearish mood was also fueled by news the United States would consider requests for waivers from sanctions due to snap back into place on Iranian crude exports.

WTI lifting briefly yesterday, driven higher by a larger-than-expected draw on U.S. fuel reserves according to the American Petroleum Institute (API), which saw a 6.8 million drawdown in oil stocks.

U.S. crude oil production is expected to average more than 12 million barrels per day late next year for the first time, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said in a monthly report on Tuesday.

The dollar index.DXY, which measures the currency against a basket of six rivals, was up 0.7 percent over the day to a high of 94.702. "If these tariffs are introduced there will be an impact on global growth and demand".

Economists are anxious that escalating trade tensions between the USA and China will hurt the global economy, lowering demand.

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Wednesday's sell-off started after the announcement by Libya's National Oil Corp that it would reopen four export terminals that had been closed since late June, shutting most of the country's oil output.

In addition, overall crude imports declined on the week, falling to 7.4 million barrels per day, off by 1.3 million bpd from the week-earlier period.

The declines followed a months-long rally that had increased prices to some of the highest levels in recent years.

Washington had previously said countries must halt all imports of Iranian oil from November 4 or face US financial restrictions, with no exemptions.

Supply to the USA market has also been squeezed by the loss of some Canadian oil production.

The market shrugged off bullish USA government data showing crude stockpiles slumped by almost 13 million barrels last week, the biggest slide in almost two years.

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