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Oil prices edge up on hopes for U.S.-China trade breakthrough

Reuters  |  SYDNEY 

(Reuters) - Oil prices inched up on Thursday, buoyed by hopes that potential progress in the latest Sino-U.S. talks would improve the global economic outlook.

U.S. Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $53.76 per barrel at 2338 GMT, up 10 cents, or 0.2 percent, from their last settlement. They closed up 1.5 percent on Wednesday, having touched their highest since Feb. 5 at $54.60 a barrel.

International Brent had yet to trade. They closed the previous session up 1.9 percent, after marking their strongest since Nov. 21 at $63.98 a barrel.

Optimism that a trade deal could be reached between the and was boosted when U.S. said talks were going "very well".

"The 90-day truce (on trade) agreed in December will run out on March 1, but given the progress of the talks there could be an extension, which is why there are rising optimism that the two leaders will meet later that month," said Alfonso Esparza, senior market analyst,

But climbing U.S. weighed on prices. U.S. rose last week to the highest since November 2017 as refiners cut runs to the lowest since October 2017, the said on Wednesday.

Crude inventories built for a fourth week in a row, rising 3.6 million barrels to 450.8 million barrels in the week to Feb. 8. Analysts polled by forecast an increase of 2.7 million barrels.

The global will struggle this year to absorb fast-growing crude supply from outside the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, even with the group's production cuts and U.S. sanctions on and Iran, the International Energy Agency said in a report on Wednesday.

(Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Joseph Radford)

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

First Published: Thu, February 14 2019. 06:48 IST
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