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During the week to June 29, commercial inventories of crude oil in the U.S. rose by 1.2 mil bbls, which was against expectations for a 3.5 mil bbl decrease. Crude stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub fell by 2.1 mil bbls to their lowest level since 2014, the EIA said.

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday that the United States would begin collecting  tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese goods at 1201 am Washington DC time on Friday and warned that subsequent rounds could see tariffs on more than $500 billion of goods. “You have another 16 (billion dollars) in two weeks, and then, as you know, we have $200 billion in abeyance and then after the $200 billion, we have $300 billion in abeyance. Ok? So we have 50 plus 20 plus almost 300,” Trump told reporters. China accused the U.S. of “opening fire” on the world with tariffs, warning that it will respond the moment that duties on $34 billion in Chinese goods kick in. China has said it will not “fire the first shot” in a trade war but it customs agency made clear that Chinese tariffs on American goods would take effect immediately after U.S. duties on Chinese goods are put in place.

Iranian commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Mohammad Ali Jafari, was reportedly to have said on Thursday that if Iran cannot sell its oil due to U.S. pressure, then no other regional country will be allowed to do so either. “We are hopeful that this plan expressed by our president (to block the Strait of Hormuz) will be implemented. We will make the enemy understand that either all can use the Strait of Hormuz or no one,” he said.  Meanwhile, the U.S. Central Command spokesman Navy Captain Bill Urban said the U.S. and its partners stand ready to ensure free navigation and the flow of commerce.  

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