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December 19, 2019

Oil prices remain high over cordial US-China trade relations

Oil prices have remained atop three-month peaks as thawing trade relations between the world’s two biggest economies, the US and China, have offered support to global markets.

By Himaja Ganta

Oil prices have remained atop three-month peaks as thawing trade relations between the world’s two biggest economies, the US and China, have offered support to global markets.

Brent crude futures increased $0.08 to $66.25 a barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude gained $0.04 to $60.97 a barrel, reported Reuters.

Data released by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed a 1.1 million barrels fall in US crude inventories in the week that ended on 13 September, and an increase in gasoline and distillates inventories.

CMC Markets Sydney chief market analyst Michael McCarthy was quoted by Reuters as saying: “We’re near the top of trading ranges for both Brent and WTI so it’s interesting to see them holding here.”

“(Trading) volumes are terrible. A lot of people have given up for the year with no scheduled events to push oil markets around.”

The trend has set the oil price to rise for a straight third week, after announcements in December 2019 about deeper output cuts by major OPEC+ group, as well as the interim deal between the US and China to resolve their trade war.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other producers such as Russia, known as OPEC+ group, agreed to further deepen the cuts by 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) from January on top of earlier reductions of 1.2 million bpd. Further thawing the relations, the finance ministry of China published a new list of six US products which will be exempted from taxes post for Christmas 2019.

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