Iran's oil minister has hit back at Trump over production demands

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U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures ended Thursday's session down $1.20 a barrel, or 1.6%, at $72.94/Bbl, Kallanish Energy reports.

US crude slipped 2 cents to $72.92.

Zanganeh added: "Trump's order to OPEC members to increase production is a great insult to those governments and nations, and destabilises the market". "Reduce pricing now!" the USA leader tweeted.

Crude-oil prices retreated early Friday and were on track to book a weekly loss for the first time in three weeks, a day after the USA benchmark contract suffered its lowest settlement in more than a week amid signs of rising production in Saudi Arabia and protracted trade tensions between the United States and China, according to monitored reports. Although Saudi Arabia has pledged the organisation will boost supplies, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said that losses in some members - notably Venezuela and Iran - will lead to a new rally.

Trump urged Saudi Arabia to pump more oil.

Yuan-denominated futures were little changed at 497.6 yuan a barrel on the Shanghai International Energy Exchange, after losing 1.4 per cent yesterday.

Meanwhile, US crude oil production has soared by 30 percent in the last two years, to 10.9 million bpd. Analysts had expected a 3.5 million-barrel draw.

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"Trump sends every day a new message that creates uncertainty in the oil market", Bijan Zanganeh said in an interview with Iranian broadcaster IRIB.

"The OPEC Monopoly must remember that gas prices are up & they are doing little to help", Trump wrote on his personal Twitter account.

Benchmark Brent crude oil was up 45c at $77.75.

The potential trade war between the United States and China comes amid a tight oil market.

"The responsibility of paying unnecessary prices for oil by all consumers of the whole world, especially in U.S. gas stations, is exclusively upon your (Trump's) shoulders and the price of over $100 per barrel is yet to come", Kazempour said.

The EU, once Iran's biggest oil importer, has promised to try keep the 2015 nuclear deal alive without the United States by trying to keep oil and investment flowing.

USA tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese imports took effect as a deadline passed on Friday and Beijing has vowed to respond immediately in kind, setting the two world's biggest economies on a path towards a full-blown trade conflict.

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