Saudi Arabia will ignore Trump's 'tolerance threshold' for oil prices, analyst says

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Saudi Arabia's Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih attends a press conference at the end of the 13th meeting of the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC) of OPEC and non- OPEC countries in Baku on March 18, 2019.

Mladen ANTONOV | AFP

Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih attends a press conference at the end of the 13th meeting of the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC) of OPEC and non- OPEC countries in Baku on March 18, 2019.

OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia will continue to ignore President Donald Trump’s tolerance threshold for rising oil prices, one analyst told CNBC on Friday, putting Riyadh on a “collision course” with Washington.

Trump delivered his second warning to OPEC this year on Thursday, demanding the producer group start pumping more oil to curtail rising crude prices.

His tweet comes at a time when OPEC and a group of allies continue to cut production following a collapse in oil prices during the final months of 2018. The output curbs by the so-called OPEC+ group have played a major part in the oil market’s rebound so far this year.

“The past few weeks has taught us that President Trump’s oil price ‘tolerance threshold’ is in the high $60s,” Stephen Brennock, oil analyst at PVM Oil Associates, said in a research note published Friday.

“A sustained move into the $70s basis Brent therefore risks putting the Saudis in the firing line for a dose of ever-increasing Trump pressure,” Brennock said.

Brent crude traded at around $68.80 on Friday, up more than 1.4 percent, while West Texas Intermediate (WTI) stood at $60.47, over 2 percent higher.

Brent has rallied more than 21 percent this year, while WTI is up nearly 25 percent over the same period.



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