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Oil eases after rally as trade talk hopes fade, China data weak

Reuters  |  NEW YORK 

By Laila Kearney

NEW YORK (Reuters) - prices were slightly lower on Thursday in see-saw trade, easing the day after a strong rally as investors were no longer encouraged by U.S.-trade talks and as weak Chinese economic data dampened risk appetite.

futures fell 23 cents to $61.21 a barrel, by 1:09 p.m. EST (1809 GMT). Intermediate crude futures fell 9 cents to $52.27 a barrel.

Earlier in the session, both benchmarks hit their highest in nearly a month. WTI hit a session high of $52.70 per barrel and Brent rose to $61.91 a barrel.

The previous session, prices jumped 5 percent, capping off an eight-day rally that marked oil's longest sustained rise since July 2017.

Global financial markets had surged on hope Washington and would avert an all-out trade war. Three days of talks between the two biggest economies that concluded on Wednesday.

But the rise in global markets began to dwindle after the two sides issued vaguely positive statements that lacked concrete details.[.N][USD/]

On Thursday, told reporters the countries were having "tremendous success" in their discussions, but offered no other details.

Disappointing data from added to concerns about the global economy. China's prices in December rose at their slowest pace in more than two years, a worrying sign of deflationary risks.

"Data out of China, weak inflation and the consummation of China-talks without any major breakthroughs that we're aware of at this point led to some profit taking after the incredible run we had yesterday," said Phil Flynn, an at in

The U.S. stock market, which futures have tracked closely, was also mostly flat after a four-day rise.

"Today's price movement has been heavily driven by swings in the equities," Jim Ritterbusch, of Ritterbusch and Associates, said in a note.

forecast that Brent will remain range bound at $55 to $65 per barrel as inventories build in the coming months, while it expects "the market will return to a balanced state" by the second half of 2019.

U.S. cut its 2019 by more than 10 percent on Wednesday, pointing to weakening economic growth expectations and rising

U.S. has held around a record high of 11.7 million barrels per day since early November, according to government data.

U.S. oil production, drilling & storage levels:

To counter rising U.S. output, the Organization of the Exporting Countries and its allies, including Russia, reached a deal to rein in supply that officially began in January.

Iranian said U.S. sanctions against his country were "fully illegal" and would not comply with them.

The deal had hung in the balance on concerns that Iran, whose crude exports have been depleted by U.S. sanctions, would receive no exemption and block the agreement.

(Additional reporting by in New York, Noah Browning in London and Henning Gloystein in Singapore; Editing by and David Gregorio)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, January 11 2019. 00:23 IST