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Oil prices advance as US and China partially agree

LONDON, December 13, 2019 – Oil prices advanced on Friday in Asia as US President reportedly agreed to a partial deal with China to pause the trade war.

US Crude Oil WTI Futures rose 0.5% to $59.48 by 12:01 AM ET (04:01 GMT), while International Brent Oil Futures gained 0.6% to $64.61.

Washington has agreed to not impose additional tariffs on Chinese goods and might reduce existing duties, multiple newswires cited sources and reported today.

 

In return, Beijing will increase its buying of US farm products. The deal could be officially announced later in the day, BBC News said, noting that many of the more difficult issues are still to be addressed.

“This should NOT be described as a trade agreement. It is a purchase and sale agreement that does virtually nothing to address substantive concerns of US (+rest of the world) with China’s trade practices. +US farmers + consumers paid heavy price,” said Jennifer Hillman, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and a former trade official, on Twitter.

However, analysts said concerns on oil demand remain despite the news. “Lingering doubts about demand will cap the upside on prices,” said ANZ Bank in a note on Friday.

Oil prices were down earlier in the day after the Paris-based IEA said global oil inventories could rise sharply through March despite an agreement by OPEC and its allies to deepen output cuts as well as lower expected production by the United States and other non-OPEC nations.

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