UPDATE 6-Oil edges further above $60 as U.S.-China trade hopes support

LONDON (Reuters) – Oil edged further above $60 a barrel on Friday as hints of progress in the U.S.-China trade dispute outweighed concerns about a slowdown in global economies and demand for crude. The world’s two largest economies are preparing for new talks and have been making conciliatory gestures ahead of the discussions, cheering investors. “Both sides have made further displays of goodwill,” said Stephen Brennock of broker PVM. “The upshot is that no further deterioration in the economic environment is expected, hence the downside for oil prices should be limited in the near term.” Benchmark Brent crude LCOc1 was up 10 cents at $60.48 a barrel by 1308 GMT, recovering from an earlier decline to $59.60. U.S. West Texas Intermediate CLc1 rose 40 cents to $55.49. Concern about a weaker demand outlook, leading to potential oversupply, still weighed on the market. OPEC and the International Energy Agency (IEA) issued reports this week pointing to a surplus next year, despite a pact by OPEC and its allies, a producer alliance known as OPEC+, to limit supplies. The deal runs until March. “In order to avoid a price slide and a massive inventory build, OPEC+ would need to implement further voluntary production cuts,” said Eugen Weinberg, analyst at Commerzbank. “The challenge facing OPEC+ is thus likely to become even bigger next year, maintaining the pressure on the oil price.” Brent has traded in a range of nearly $5 this week and is heading for its first weekly loss in five weeks. The U.S. benchmark, similarly volatile, was on track for the first weekly drop in three weeks. Brent is up 12% in 2019, helped by the deal between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies including Russia to cut output by 1.2 million barrels per day. The producers are trying to stop inventories from building up and, in a sign the plan is bearing fruit, U.S. crude stocks fell last week to the lowest in nearly a year. An OPEC+ monitoring committee met this week and secured pledges from OPEC members Nigeria and Iraq to deliver their share of the cut, something they have failed to do so far, but made no progress on possibly deepening the curbs. Some OPEC delegates say the idea of a larger cut for next year is gaining support. But Saudi Arabia’s new energy minister said talks on that issue would be left until the next OPEC+ meeting in December.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.