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Oil prices are rising against Iran sanctions, but trade flows are slowing

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Oil prices rose on Monday as US sanctions on Iran signaled a narrower market, despite worries over slowing economic growth dampened by global trade tensions.

An oil pump lift is seen at sunset in a field outside Scheibenhard, near Strasbourg, France, October 6, 201

7. REUTERS / Christian Hartmann

Front-month Brent crude oil futures LCOc1 stood at $ 72.88 a barrel at 0053 GMT, down 7 cents from their last close.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures CLc1 rose 16 cents to $ 67.79 a barrel.

The US has begun to impose new sanctions on Iran, which from November onwards will also affect the country's oil sector.

"After US sanctions against Iran came back into force … all eyes were on the impact of local oil exports," said ANZ Bank on Monday.

"Maintaining global supply could be very difficult," the bank said, adding that "the US is doing its part to increase production, with data for drilling activity continuing to increase."

U.S. Energy companies added most rigs since last week and added 10 rigs last week to bring the total to 869, according to Baker Hughes Energy Services.

This was the highest level of drilling activity since March 2015.

Oil markets may also be signs of a slowdown in economic growth and fuel demand growth, particularly in the major Asian emerging economies.

"Lower demand from China, the world's largest importer, comes at a critical time when Asian demand growth is being called into question due to the negative impact of trade wars, a stronger dollar and rising financing costs "said Ole Hansen, Head of Commodities Strategy at Saxo Bank, Denmark, last week in a statement.

(For a graph on "US Drill Counting", click on reut.rs/2OwEL6C)

Reporting by Henning Gloystein in Singapore; Additional reporting by Gary McWilliams in Houston; Edited by Joseph Radford

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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