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Oil declines on global demand worries despite hopes on trade talks
TOKYO (Reuters) – Oil futures fell on Friday as concerns about global growth and slowing demand lingered despite hints of progress on U.S.-China trade talks, setting up prices for weekly losses after days of swinging back and forth.Brent crude (LCOc1) was down 18 cents, or 0.3%, at $60.20 a barrel by 0442 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) (CLc1) was off by 14 cents, or 0.3%, at $54.95.Brent has traded in a range of nearly $5 this week and is heading for its first weekly loss in five. U.S. crude has traded similarly and is heading for its first loss in three weeks.
Gloom over the economic impact of the trade dispute between Washington and Beijing has left investors shrugging off a strong commitment from Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) producers to trim output.”Again it is a battle between the forces of OPEC and those of slowing global growth and thus demand,” said Greg McKenna, strategist at McKenna Macro.
Nearly 80% of more than 60 economists said U.S.-China trade relations would either worsen or stay the same by the end of next year. The median probability of a U.S. recession in the next two years held at a high of 45%, and the chance of one in the next 12 months held at 30%.Still, President Donald Trump said on Thursday he would not rule out an interim deal with China on trade, though he prefers a comprehensive agreement..
In oil markets, however, concern over whether Trump can achieve progress on the trade dispute has overshadowed OPEC’s Thursday agreement to trim output by asking members Iraq and Nigeria to bring their production back in line with targets.OPEC is striving to prevent a glut amid soaring U.S. production and a slowing global economy.