Oil Prices Advance on Trade Talks Hopes; Economic Downturn Looms (REALCOMMODITY.COM: 8077694749, 9720148005)

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Oil prices advanced on Tuesday in Asia by hopes that China and U.S. may be able to reach a trade deal and end their trade disputes.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Monday that Beijing and Washington could reach a trade deal that “we can live with”.

“There’s a very good chance that we’ll get a reasonable settlement that China can live with, that we can live with, and that addresses all the key issues,” Ross told CNBC in an interview on Monday.

The U.S. and China kicked off talks this week in the first face-to-face meeting since U.S. President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping agreed to a 90-day truce in their trade war last month. Meanwhile, the South China Morning Post reported on Monday that Trump is likely to hold talks with Wang Qishan, China’s vice president, at the World Economic Forum later this month in Davos.

Crude Oil WTI Futures gained 0.1% to $48.58 per barrel by 11:15 PM ET (04:15 GMT), after reaching a high of $49.79 on Monday.

Brent Oil Futures, the U.K.-traded global crude benchmark, also gained 0.1% to $57.38.

Oil prices were also supported by a Wall Street Journal report that Saudi Arabia is planning to cut crude exports to around 7.1 million barrels per day (bpd) by the end of January.

However, concerns of a worldwide economic slowdown were cited as a headwind for oil prices as investors fear it would dent fuel consumption.

The official manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) also fell to 49.4 from November’s 50.0.

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