Saudi energy minister warns oil speculators to ‘watch out’

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Saudi Arabia’s top energy official issued another warning to oil short-sellers, just over a week before the OPEC+ alliance is due to meet.

“I keep advising them that they will be ouching — they did ouch in April,” Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said at the Qatar Economic Forum in Doha on Tuesday. “I don’t have to show them my cards and I’m not a poker player. But I’d tell them: ‘Watch out’.”

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Oil prices have fluctuated around $75 a barrel in London this month as traders weigh a positive outlook for demand against faltering economic data from China, risks of recession in the US and a protracted battle over America’s debt ceiling.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, a 23-nation bloc known as OPEC+, will meet on June 3-4 in Vienna to review production policy for the second half of the year.

The prince said OPEC’s actions show it’s a stabilizing force rather than engaged in price gouging, blaming market volatility on erroneous forecasts and policies among consuming nations — such as the release of emergency stockpiles by the US.

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