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Oil prices remain firm after comments from the US and China increased hopes that the countries would soon sign an interim deal to end their trade dispute.

Brent crude futures declined 1 cent at $63.64 a barrel, while West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures slipped 5 cents at $57.96 a barrel, reported Reuters.

China’s Commerce Ministry said that top Chinese and US trade negotiators held a phone call as part of continuous attempts to sign an interim deal to put an end to the long-delayed trade war.

AxiTrader chief Asia market strategist Stephen Innes was quoted by Reuters as saying: “Oil prices tend to be strongly correlated to trade news flows. Optimism over (a) trade deal remains supportive for prices.”

A report released by tabloid Global Times run by the Chinese Communist Party’s official People’s Daily noted that China and the US are moving closer to agree on a phase one trade deal. The report, however, added that Washington and Beijing had not agreed on specifics of rollbacks of taxes on Chinese goods.

China’s insistence that the administration of US President Donald Trump roll back tariffs has been a major sticking point in resolving the trade war between the two nations.

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By GlobalData

Meanwhile, on the supply front, OPEC+ alliance is expected to meet next month in Vienna to discuss about the output reduction to support prices. Currently, the producer group plans to extend output cuts until mid-2020.

According to a Reuters poll of analysts, US crude inventories are expected to have declined by 300,000 barrels last week.