Oil falls on inflation issues, Iraq exports

The logo of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is pictured at its headquarters in Vienna, Austria March 21, 2016. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

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LONDON, Aug 30 (Reuters) – Oil prices fell on Tuesday on fears that an inflation-induced weakening of global economies would dampen fuel demand and as Iraqi crude exports have been unaffected by clashes.

Brent crude futures for October settlement fell $2.45, or 2.33%, to $102.64 a barrel by 1022 GMT, after climbing 4.1% on Monday, the biggest gain in more than a month.

The October contract expires on Wednesday and the more active November contract was at $101.12 a barrel, down 1.76%.

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US West Texas Intermediate crude was at $95.46 a barrel, down $1.55, or 1.6%, after a 4.2% gain in the previous session.

Inflation is near double-digit territory in many of the world’s largest economies, a level not seen in nearly half a century. This could prompt central banks in the US and Europe to resort to more aggressive rate hikes that could reduce economic growth and weigh on fuel demand. read more

“The economy will continue to remain sluggish with the Fed’s aggressive monetary policy. Investors now await the monthly employment data on Friday,” said Kunal Sawhney, CEO of Kalkine Group.

Prices fell after comments by Iraq’s state-owned marketer SOMO that the country’s oil exports are unaffected by unrest, UBS analyst Giovanni Staunovo said. read more

Baghdad is seeing its worst fighting in years as clashes between Shiite Muslim groups enter a second day. read more

SOMO also said on Tuesday that it could divert more oil to Europe if necessary. read more

The market is awaiting the upcoming meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies such as Russia, known as OPEC+, on September 5.

Saudi Arabia last week raised the possibility of production cuts from OPEC+, which sources said could coincide with an increase in supply from Iran if the country signs a nuclear deal with the West.

– A possible reduction in OPEC+ production is the reason why the oil market is thumbing its nose at weakened shares and the strong dollar, says Tamas Varga at the oil broker PVM.

Meanwhile, the American Petroleum Institute, an industry group, is due to release data on U.S. crude oil inventories at 4:30 p.m. EDT (2030 GMT) on Tuesday.

U.S. crude inventories likely fell by 600,000 barrels in the week to Aug. 26, with distillates and gasoline stocks also seen down, a preliminary Reuters poll showed on Monday.

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Reporting by Rowena Edwards, additional reporting by Muyu Xu in Singapore; Editing by Christian Schmollinger and Louise Heavens

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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