Oil prices mixed as hope lingers for flagging US-China talks

Oil prices rose more than $1 a barrel on Monday but then fell with Wall Street as the negative turn in the US-China talks spooked investors. (Reuters)
Updated 14 May 2019
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Oil prices mixed as hope lingers for flagging US-China talks

  • China on Monday ignored a warning from President Donald Trump and moved to impose higher tariffs on a range of US goods
  • China’s top diplomat, State Councilor Wang Yi, indicated that Beijing hoped for a compromise

LONDON: Oil was mixed on Tuesday as tensions in the Gulf appeared to stop short of a military showdown and both sides in the US-China trade talks sounded conciliatory notes, signaling that a breakdown might be avoided.
Brent crude futures were at $70.40 a barrel at 0755 GMT, up 38 cents or 0.24 percent. Brent ended the previous session down 0.6 percent.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $60.92 per barrel, down 12 cents or 0.2 percent. WTI closed down 1 percent on Monday.
The negotiations between the United States and China appeared headed toward success last week but have largely unraveled over US accusations that Beijing sought vast, last-minute changes.
China on Monday ignored a warning from US President Donald Trump and moved to impose higher tariffs on a range of US goods including frozen vegetables and liquefied natural gas.
But the Chinese government’s top diplomat, State Councilor Wang Yi, indicated on Monday that Beijing hoped for a compromise: “Both countries’ negotiating teams have the ability and wisdom to resolve each other’s reasonable demands.”
Trump on Monday said he expected to speak to Chinese President Xi Jinping at a G20 summit in late June and have “probably a very fruitful meeting.”
“Market participants (are) increasingly having to do their own guesswork and read between the lines to ride the latest wave of volatility in the financial markets,” analyst Vandana Hari of Vanda Insights said.
“The US president’s comments likely tilted the balance in favor of the optimists, who continue to expect a rapprochement despite last week’s major setback in trade negotiations.”
Oil rose more than $1 a barrel on Monday but then fell with Wall Street as the negative turn in the US-China talks spooked investors.
In the Middle East, Saudi Arabia said two of its oil tankers were among those attacked off the coast of the United Arab Emirates on Sunday, describing it as an attempt to undermine the global oil supply.
A US official said Iran was the likely culprit.
Tehran has been embroiled in an escalating war of words with the United States over stricter US sanctions, which have cut its oil exports and tightened global supply. Iranian officials denied responsibility for the incident.
A fifth of global oil consumption passes through the Strait of Hormuz from Middle East crude producers to global markets.


Libya’s NOC confirms 290,000 bpd production at Sharara offline

Updated 20 July 2019
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Libya’s NOC confirms 290,000 bpd production at Sharara offline

  • NOC said it was conducting a full-scale investigation into suspected closed valves in the Hamada area
  • It also said in a statement that production from El Feel oilfield was unaffected by the incident

LONDON: Libya’s National Oil Corporation confirmed on Saturday that production at its 290,000 barrels per day El Sharara oilfield was currently offline.
NOC said it was conducting a full-scale investigation into suspected closed valves in the Hamada area.
It also said in a statement that production from El Feel oilfield was unaffected by the incident.
Sources earlier told Reuters that production at El Sharara had halted on Friday due to a valve closure on the pipeline linking the field to Zawiya.