Reuters: Oil edges higher on upcoming China-U.S. trade talks, OPEC cuts

08:55, 04 January 2019
Economy
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International Brent crude futures LCOc1 were at $56.12 per barrel at 0542 GMT, up 17 cents, or 0.3 percent, from their last close, Reuters said.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures CLc1 were at $47.25 per barrel, up 16 cents, or 0.3 percent.

Read alsoReuters: Oil prices fall on demand fears, market volatility

Both crude benchmarks were down earlier in the session on concerns that the Sino-American trade war would lead to a global economic slowdown.

Traders said the firmer prices came after China's commerce ministry said on Friday that it would hold vice ministerial level trade talks with U.S. counterparts in Beijing on January 7-8, as the two sides look to end a dispute that is inflicting increasing pain on both economies and roiling global financial markets.

The two nations have been locked in a trade war for much of the past year, disrupting the flow of hundreds of billions of dollars worth of goods and stoking fears of a global economic slowdown.

Data for December from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) on Thursday showed the broadest U.S. slowdown in growth for more than a decade, as the trade conflict with China, falling equity prices and increasing uncertainty started to take a toll on the world's biggest economy.

Leading economies in Asia and Europe have already reported a fall in manufacturing activity.

Despite the global market turmoil, traders said oil prices are expected to receive some support as supply cuts announced late last year by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) start to kick in.

OPEC oil supply fell by 460,000 barrels per day (bpd) between November and December, to 32.68 million bpd, a Reuters survey found on Thursday, as top exporter Saudi Arabia made an early start to a supply-limiting accord, while Iran and Libya posted involuntary declines.

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