Oil steady as US-China trade tensions ease

Oil Prices Rise as US Drilling Slows

The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported Wednesday that U.S. crude oil inventories declined by more than 4.5 million barrels, beating the estimates from S&P Global Platts and the American Petroleum Institute.

The threat of a trade with with China has impacted the United States economic outlook, and generated demand worries in the oil patch.

Futures gained as much as 0.7 percent in NY.

May WTI crude oil futures settled at $63.51, up $0.50 or +0.79%.

Brent for June settlement added 28 cents to $68.30 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.

Yuan-denominated oil futures on the Shanghai International Energy Exchange were little changed at 402.3 yuan a barrel after the September-delivery contract closed 3.4% lower on Tuesday.

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Oil prices were modestly higher on Thursday, helped by gains in US equities markets as trade tensions between China and the United States eased, but the advance was limited by strength in the dollar.S. Last week, reserves fell by 4.6 million barrels, while analysts expected a 246,000-barrel growth.

The statement said it was a countermeasure in response to a previous US move to slap tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. USA oil inventories shrank the most since January, according to government data yesterday, in contrast to a forecast expansion.

The West Texas Intermediate for May delivery fell 0.14 US dollar to settle at 63.37 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for June delivery lost 0.10 dollar to close at 68.02 dollars a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange. Opec and other producers are collectively curbing 1.8-million barrels per day (bpd) of crude output to help eliminate a glut in oil inventories.

The decline in U.S. stockpiles has boosted optimism that surging shale output may not thwart Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries's (OPEC) efforts to drain a glut.

The decline in U.S. stockpiles has boosted optimism that surging shale output may not thwart Opec's efforts to drain a glut. The EIA data also showed that American oil production rose to an unprecedented 10.5 million barrels a day, topping the 10 million-barrel level for a ninth week.

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