Oil prices rose on Friday, helped by an ongoing Sino-U.S. trade war and concerns over the death of a prominent Saudi journalist.
Brent sweet crude for December delivery was up at 79.63 dollars a barrel.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude for October delivery rose by 27 cents or 0.4 per cent, at 68.92 dollars per barrel.
U.S. crude stocks last week climbed to 6.5 million barrels, the fourth straight weekly build, almost triple the amount analysts forecast, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday.
Inventories rose sharply even as U.S. crude production slipped 300,000 barrels per day to 10.9 million bpd last week due to effects of offshore facilities closing temporarily for Hurricane Michael.
President Donald Trump said on Thursday he presumed that missing Saudi journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, is dead.
He also said that the U.S. response to Saudi Arabia would likely be “very severe” but he would still want to get to the bottom of what exactly happened.
The U.S. and other Western nations are in a dilemma about how to respond because of lucrative business ties, including weapons sale to Riyadh.
Meanwhile, Iranian oil exports may have increased in October when compared to the previous month, as buyers rush to lift more cargoes ahead of looming U.S. sanctions that kick in on Nov. 4.
An unprecedented volume of Iranian crude oil is set to arrive at China’s northeast Dalian port this month and in early November before U.S. sanctions on Iran take effect, said Iranian shipping source.
So far, a total of 22 million barrels of Iranian crude oil, loaded on supertankers owned by the National Iranian Tanker Co (NITC), is expected to arrive at Dalian in October and November, the data showed.
Dalian typically receives between one million and three million barrels of Iranian oil each month, according to the data that dates back to January 2015.
In global markets, stocks in Asia fell on Friday as global sentiment soured on issues ranging from trade worries, Italy’s 2019 budget and higher U.S. interest rates.