News ID: 219939
Published: 0546 GMT August 16, 2018

Oil rises as China, US set for trade talks, but markets weary of slowing demand

Oil rises as China, US set for trade talks, but markets weary of slowing demand

Oil prices on Thursday recouped some of the previous day’s losses after Beijing said it would send a delegation to Washington to try to resolve trade disputes between the United States and China that have roiled global markets.

Brent crude oil futures LCOc1 were at $71.03 per barrel , up 27 cents, or 0.4 percent, from their last close, according to Reuters.com.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were up 5 cents at $65.06 a barrel, held back somewhat by rising US crude production and storage levels.

Both benchmarks lost more than 2 percent during the previous day’s trading.

Traders said Thursday’s markets were pushed up by news that a Chinese delegation led by Vice Minister of Commerce Wang Shouwen will hold talks with US representatives led by Under Secretary of Treasury for International Affairs David Malpass later in August.

China and the United States have implemented several rounds of tit-for-tat tariffs on each others goods and threatened further tariffs on exports worth hundreds of billions of dollars.

Sentiment in oil markets was also cautious due to the rise in US crude production and storage levels as well as weakness in emerging market economies, especially in Asia, that could limit demand growth.

Output of US crude  rose by 100,000 barrels per day (bpd) in the week ending Aug. 10, to 10.9 million bpd, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) weekly production and storage report.

At the same time, US crude inventory levels climbed by 6.8 million barrels, to 414.19 million barrels, the EIA said.

While supply rose in the United States, Asia’s markets were showing signs of economic slowdown due to trade disputes with the United States and currency weakness, dragging on oil market sentiment.

In Japan, official data on Thursday showed a slowdown in export growth as well as a decline in crude oil imports.

Asia’s currencies also remained under pressure, with the dollar .DXY holding near 13-month peaks on Thursday as political turmoil in Turkey and concerns about China’s economic health continued to support safe-haven assets.

Providing Brent crude with some support were looming US sanctions against Iran’s oil exports, set to start from November, with Asian buyers including India, South Korea and Japan already scaling back orders in anticipation.

   
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