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Trump asks OPEC to boost oil supply, blames state taxes for gasoline prices

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Trump asks OPEC to boost oil supply, blames state taxes for gasoline prices


Brent crude settles $2.20/b lower, NYMEX down $1.91/b

Trump blames state taxes, particularly California's, for high prices

Washington — US President Donald Trump showed Friday he remains focused on domestic gasoline prices as the global oil supply impact from his decision to tighten Iran sanctions comes into focus.

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Trump said in comments to reporters and separately in a tweet that he spoke with OPEC producers and asked them to increase supply to lower prices.

"Spoke to Saudi Arabia and others about increasing oil flow. All are in agreement," Trump tweeted.

Trump added that California's gasoline taxes were "causing big problems" for fuel prices in the state and asked residents to urge the governor to lower taxes.

Crude oil futures were already lower Friday morning, but Trump's comments may have added some momentum.

ICE June Brent settled $2.20 lower at $72.15/b, and NYMEX June WTI crude settled $1.91 lower at $63.30/b at Friday's close.

The Trump administration announced Monday it would let eight waivers for Iran's oil customers expire next week. Major importers China, India, Turkey, South Korea and Japan will have to find alternate sources or risk violating the sanctions. Some analysts predict the decision could raise oil prices, particularly in the third quarter, when supply appears tight.

Trump has tweeted about oil supply or prices 14 times since becoming president. While the messages have caused sharp same-day price drops, the price impact disappears quickly, according to an analysis by Kensho Analytics, a machine-learning unit of S&P Global.

-- Meghan Gordon,

-- Edited by Valarie Jackson,