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Oil prices fall; slow progress in trade talks counters OPEC cuts

Reuters  |  NEW YORK 

By Stephanie Kelly

NEW YORK (Reuters) - prices fell about $1 a barrel on Monday as worries surrounding the resumption of U.S.-trade talks overshadowed support from OPEC-led supply restraint.

Brent crude futures lost $1.04, or 1.7 percent to $61.06 a barrel by 11:22 a.m. EST (1622 GMT).

U.S. Intermediate (WTI) crude fell $1.33, or 2.5 percent, to $51.39 a barrel.

Trade talks between the and resumed with working level discussions before high-level discussions later in the week.

While struck an upbeat note, it also expressed anger at a U.S. Navy mission through the disputed Sea. This cast a shadow as the two countries try to reach a deal before the March 1 deadline when U.S. tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports are scheduled to increase to 25 percent from 10 percent.

On Thursday, U.S. said he did not plan to meet with Chinese before the March 1 deadline, dampening hopes of a quick trade pact.

Escalating U.S.-China trade tensions have cost both countries billions of dollars and disrupted global trade and business flows, roiling

"There's a lot of uncertainty about what's going on with this trade war, whether they're going to get anything done," said Phil Flynn, analyst at in "You've got concerns about slowing growth."

Still, prices have been buoyed this year by output curbs from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, including Russia, a group known as OPEC+.

The deal, effective from January, aims to cut 1.2 million barrels per day until the end of June to forestall an supply overhang. Suhail Al Mazrouei, the of the United Arab Emirates, said on Monday the should achieve this balance in the first quarter of 2019.

OPEC and its allies meet on April 17 and 18 in to review the agreement, but a draft cooperation charter seen by fell short of a new formal alliance among the producers.

U.S. sanctions on Venezuela, along with older sanctions on fellow OPEC member Iran, have also prevented crude prices from falling further.

has sought OPEC support against the sanctions, citing their impact on and potential risks for other members of the group.

(Additional reporting by in London; editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise; Additional reporting by Henning Gloystein; Editing by and Mark Potter)

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

First Published: Mon, February 11 2019. 22:12 IST