Oil prices drop as hopes for US-China trade progress wilt

Oil prices drop as hopes for US-China trade progress wilt

Global benchmark Brent crude futures fell 26 cents, or 0.5 per cent, to $58.05 a barrel by 0133 GMT, while US West Texas Intermediate crude was at $52.38 per barrel, down 21 cents, a 0.4 per cent drop.

Investors are cautious ahead of US-China talks which are due to be held in Washington on Thursday, although these talks are not expected to produce a comprehensive deal to end the trade war between the world's two largest economies.

Prices were also weighed down by a report of rising stockpiles in the United States, which is also now the world's biggest oil producer. -China trade dispute have overshadowed lower supply.

Venezuela will also increase its exports despite US economic sanctions that have curtailed shipments as Indian refiner Reliance Industries plans to start loading Venezuelan crude after a four-month pause.

"All options are open", he said, when asked about the prospect of a deeper oil supply cut.

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Turkey launched a military operation against Kurdish fighters in northeast Syria, President Tayyip Erdogan said, adding the offensive was aimed to eliminate a "terror corridor" along the Turkish border.

The country suffered a major setback from the attacks, which Saudi Arabia and the U.S. blamed on Iran, and Riyadh's state oil company, Saudi Aramco, sustained a production cut equivalent to 5 percent of the world's oil supply.

Protests also threatened oil production in Ecuador and Iraq, members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.

"Should U.S. -China trade negotiations take a turn for the worst, market pessimism will impose sharp negative pressures on oil prices", said Benjamin Lu, commodities analyst at Phillip Futures in Singapore. The heads of the world's biggest trading houses, Vitol, Trafigura and Gunvor, told the annual Oil and Money conference in London that oil will weaken next year to around $50 per barrel due to slowing global demand.

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