Oil prices edge lower ahead of US stockpile numbers

Tokyo, Japan Updated: Oct 29, 2019, 10:33 AM(IST)

File photo: Pumpjacks are seen during sunset at the Daqing oil field, China  Photograph:( Reuters )

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Brent futures were down 6 cents at $61.51 a barrel by 0311 GMT, having fallen 0.7 per cent on Monday.

Oil prices slipped on Tuesday as investors awaited US crude inventory data for a pointer on oil demand trends, while concerns about slower economic growth overshadowed signs of a thawing in the trade war between Washington and Beijing.

Brent futures were down 6 cents at $61.51 a barrel by 0311 GMT, having fallen 0.7 per cent on Monday.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was down 12 cents at $55.69, after falling 1.5 per cent in the previous session.

Prices rose sharply last week amid a decline in US inventories and signs of an easing in the US-China trade war, but worries on Monday about weaker economic growth offset hopes of a rise in oil demand even if trade talks progress.

"The inventory read last week is still reverberating through trading, although we did see that finally start to give way last night, but we can see there is very little appetite to go on with it today," said Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets in Sydney.

US crude inventories were forecast to have increased by around 700,000 barrels last week, according to a Reuters poll of analysts, having unexpectedly fallen the previous week, the first decline in six weeks.

US crude oil stockpiles at Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point for WTI, have risen by about 1.5 million barrels in the week through Oct. 25, traders said earlier, citing data from market intelligence firm Genscape.

The American Petroleum Institute releases industry data later on Tuesday, while the US government's Energy Information Administration releases inventory data on Wednesday. 

The United States Trade Representative is studying whether to extend tariff suspensions on $34 billion of Chinese goods set to expire on December 28 this year, the agency said on Monday.

US President Donald Trump said earlier on Monday he expected to sign a significant part of the trade deal with China ahead of schedule but did not elaborate on the timing.

Leaders of the world's two biggest economies are working to agree on the text for a "Phase 1" trade agreement announced by Trump on October 11. Trump has said he hopes to sign the deal with China's President Xi Jinping next month at a summit in Chile.

The trade war has hit economic growth around the world and kept oil prices range-bound for months.

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