Oil prices rise in renewed hope of trade

President Donald Trump said at the weekend he is not interested in a partial deal, and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said last month that the dispute could not be resolved just by buying China “a little more pork or soybeans.”

As of 8:20 AM ET, the futures of US WTI benchmarks were $ 53.28 a barrel, up 1.2% from late Tuesday. Brent international standards mix rose 1.2% to $ 58.95 a barrel.

Crude oil prices rose on Wednesday after various unconfirmed reports breathed life into hopes that the US and China could at least agree to a temporary and partial ceasefire of their multi-faceted dispute when trade talks resume Thursday.

Bloomberg reported that China had expressed its continued readiness to reach a limited agreement, while the Financial Times reported that China was willing to buy up to 10 million tonnes more in US soybeans a year. That would be worth about $ 3.25 billion at current prices.

The news however supported a market that has been beaten in recent days for fear of global demand. Russell Hardy, chief executive of Vitol, one of the world’s largest oil traders, was quoted by the wires on Wednesday as saying at a conference that global demand could rise by as little as 750,000 barrels a day this year, well below forecasts by OPEC and the International Energy Agency.

“Concerns about the future are gaining,” Hardy reported on Energy Intelligence. “The risk premium disappeared soon after the Saudi attacks.”

He and other senior executives from the trading industry all said Brent averaged less than $ 60 a barrel next year, a figure that could squeeze the cash flow of big internationals budgeting around that figure.

Demand fears were clearly in focus after Tuesday’s data from the American Petroleum Institute shows a 4.1m increase in crude oil inventories last week, well ahead of the expected 1.41m barrel increase. Official government data will be released at 10:30 AM ET./Investing.com

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