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Oil prices rise on trade deal hopes

LONDON, February 21, 2019 – Oil prices rose on Thursday in Asia amid some positive trade news that suggested the US and China would be able to reach a deal to resolve their long-running trade dispute.

Citing sources familiar with negotiations, Reuters reported that US and China have begun to outline a deal to end their trade dispute.

“The broad outline of what could make up a deal is beginning to emerge from the talks,” one of the sources said. He warned that the talks could still fail as China has not yet met the demands requested by US President Donald Trump’s administration on issues related to structural changes to China’s economy.

Asian equities advanced following the news, while oil prices also traded in the green.

Crude Oil WTI Futures were up 0.4% at $57.39 by 1:28 AM ET (06:28 GMT), while Brent rose 0.2% to $67.19.

 

Oil prices have been receiving some support from supply cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

OPEC, along with Russia, agreed late last year to cut output by 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) to prevent a large supply overhang from growing.

Oil prices had traded slightly lower earlier after the American Petroleum Institute (API) reported a surprise increase in crude stocks.

U.S. crude stocks for the week ended February 15 were up 1.3 million barrels, the API said late Wednesday. Analysts previously expected U.S. crude stocks to have increased by 3.5 million barrels.

The API report came after the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Tuesday in a monthly report that U.S. crude output, which soared by more than 2 million bpd in 2018 to a record 11.9 million bpd, is set to keep rising thanks to booming shale oil production.

Official figures on oil inventory and production are due to be published by the EIA later in the day.

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