From the Field

Oil down despite positive Sino-US news

LONDON, November 4, 2019 – Oil prices fell on Monday in Asia, giving back some of their gains from late last week amid some positive Sino-US trade news.

US Crude Oil WTI Futures dropped 0.6% to $55.88 by 11:23 PM ET (03:23 GMT). International Brent Oil Futures fell 0.5% to $61.36.

Oil prices surged almost 4% on Friday after data showed Chinese manufacturing orders rose at the quickest pace in more than six years.

Trade developments between China and the US, the world’s biggest oil importers, remained in focus today.


US Trade Representative (USTR) said in a statement on Friday that Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin made progress on a variety of issues during a telephone call on Friday with China’s Vice Premier Liu He about an interim trade agreement.

Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump said on Friday evening that negotiations about a “phase one” agreement were going well, although there is scepticism over whether a full trade deal will be reached.

Trump and Xi had been expected to ink the partial agreement at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Santiago, Chile from Nov. 16-17, but those plans were thrown into disarray on Wednesday when Chile withdrew as host of the meeting.

“I think the trade talk continues to improve sentiment but … Asian oil traders want more convincing data from the macros side” before supporting oil, Stephen Innes, Asia Pacific market strategist at AxiTrader said in a Reuters report.

The European Union and the US are set to announce manufacturing data on Monday.

Also receiving attention today was Saudi Aramco, the world’s biggest oil company, announced its intention to list in Saudi Arabia.

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