MORNING LIVE CRUDE UPDATE ::

Oil prices edged up on Friday morning in Asia but were expected to head for a second weekly drop due to a rise in U.S. crude stocks.

Crude Oil WTI Futures for November delivery rose 0.15% to $68.75 per barrel at 11:37PM ET (03:37 GMT) on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent Oil Futuresfor December delivery also inched up 0.14% to $79.4 a barrel on London’s Intercontinental Exchange.

U.S. crude stocks surged by 6.5 million barrels last week, almost three times more than analysts’ forecast, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

“(The) EIA Weekly Petroleum Status Report was a complete shocker sending oil markets spiraling lower amidst some concerning development for oil bulls,” Stephen Innes, head of trading for Asia Pacific at Oanda, told Reuters.

Still, the potential political fallout after the disappearance of Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi and upcoming sanctions against Iran continued to loom over oil markets.

U.S. President Donald Trump vowed on Thursday to find out exactly what happened to Khashoggi, whom he said might be deceased. He warned of a “very severe” response to Saudi Arabia, which is under political pressure for its role in the disappearance. Both business and political leaders have been distancing themselves from the Kingdom.

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