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With U.S. markets closed for a holiday, Europe's share markets fell back into the red on Thursday due to investor worries about slowing global growth in the face of rising U.S. interest rates and trade tensions. The World Trade Organization said on Thursday that countries belonging to the G20 group of the world's biggest economies applied 40 new trade restrictive measures between mid-May and mid-October, covering around $481 billion of trade. Three-quarters of the restrictions were tariff hikes, many of them retaliation to steel and aluminium tariffs imposed by U.S. President Donald Trump in March.

Saudi Arabia will respond to weak oil demand, the kingdom’s energy minister Khalid al-Falih said on Thursday. "The waivers as to the Iranian sanctions as you know ... So January demand for Saudi Arabia would be lower," al-Falih said, referring to U.S. waivers on sanctions to certain buyers of Iranian oil. Al-Falih told reporters that "we will not sell oil that customers don't need ... We will not make the market get anxious ... in the way it did in May or June, but at the same time we make it clear that it is not in anybody’s interest to create a glut similar to what we saw few years ago."

Iran's oil exports have dropped by several hundred thousand bpd in November, according to Geneva-based Petro-Logistics, which tracks oil supply from OPEC members and other major exporters. "The low volumes we saw in the beginning of the month were due to buyer reluctance to schedule loadings while awaiting clarity on sanctions waivers," Petro-Logistics Chief Executive Daniel Gerber told reporters. Petro-Logistics did not provide a precise figure on Iran’s November exports, conceding that shipments have become more opaque since the U.S. sanctions took effect.

South Korea's total imports of crude oil in October rose by 5.3 pct y/y to 97.8 mil bbls, but its purchases of crude oil from Iran fell to zero, data from state-run Korea National Oil Corp showed on Thursday.

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