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Oil gains 1% as China pushes Trump for more tariff roll-backs

Kitco News

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil prices rose more than 1% on Tuesday on hopes for a U.S.-China trade agreement and optimism that Washington could roll back some of the tariffs it has imposed on Chinese imports.

Brent crude LCOc1 futures for January delivery rose 88 cents, or 1.4%, to $63.01 a barrel by 10:51 a.m. EST (1551 GMT). U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 futures rose 76 cents, or 1.3%, to $57.30 a barrel.

China is pushing U.S. President Donald Trump to remove more tariffs imposed in September as part of a so-called Phase 1 deal, which would help to ease the broad economic impact of the trade dispute between the world’s two biggest oil consumers.

“While such a development could accommodate a signing of a Phase 1 deal that would allow for a further increase in risk acceptance and hence, bullish spillover from the equities and into the oil complex, a major long term agreement still appears elusive well into next year,” Jim Ritterbusch, president of Ritterbusch and Associates in Galena, Illinois, said in a report.

OPEC Secretary-General Mohammad Barkindo said the oil market outlook for 2020 may be brighter than previously forecast, appearing to downplay any need for deeper production cuts.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) also said it would supply a diminishing amount of oil in the next five years as output increases from U.S. shale deposits and elsewhere.

Graphic: Oil production in U.S. vs. OPEC png, here

Reuters Graphic

OPEC’s production of crude oil and other liquids is expected to decline to 32.8 million barrels per day (bpd) by 2024, the group said in its 2019 World Oil Outlook.

Investors are also awaiting U.S. inventory data due later on Tuesday, with official government data to be released Wednesday.

U.S. crude oil inventories were forecast to have risen last week, while refined products stocks are likely to have declined, a preliminary Reuters poll showed on Monday.

Graphic: U.S. crude inventories, here

Reuters Graphic

The U.S. Federal Reserve’s interest rate cut last week, recent weakness in the dollar and improved U.S. jobs growth in October also provided support, analysts said.

“We believe that the strength in oil prices will be short-lived, given the scale of the surplus that is expected over the 1H20,” ING analyst Warren Patterson said, referring to the first half of 2020.

“The risk to this view is if OPEC+ surprises the market in December by announcing even deeper than expected cuts for 2020.”

OPEC, Russia and other producers, a group known as OPEC+, have implemented a deal to cut oil output by 1.2 million barrels per day from the start of this year.

Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh on Monday said he expects further production cuts to be agreed at the next meeting of the group in December.

Meanwhile, Asia’s oil demand growth is expected to more than double to 815,000 barrels per day (bpd) in 2020 from 380,000 bpd this year, led by China and India, the head of energy consulting firm FGE said on Tuesday.

Additional reporting by Bozorgmehr Sharafedin in London and Aaron Sheldrick in Tokyo; Editing by David Goodman and Bernadette Baum

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