Oil edges up on US stocks fall, trade talk signs

SINGAPORE/TOKYO: Oil prices nudged higher on Wednesday on rising tensions over Iran, a sharp fall in US crude stocks and positive signs on Sino-US talks, although worries about weak demand kept a cap on gains.
Brent crude futures LCOc1 were up 21 cents, or 0.3 per cent, at $64.04 a barrel by 0719 GMT, after rising nearly 1 per cent on Tuesday.
US West Texas Intermediate crude CLc1 was up 28 cents, or 0.5 per cent, at $57.05 a barrel, having risen about 1 per cent in the previous session.
US crude stocks fell more than expected in the week to July 19, declining by 11 million barrels to 449 million, the trade group American Petroleum Institute said on Tuesday.
That compared with analysts’ expectations of a decrease of 4 million barrels.
Crude stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub fell by 448,000 barrels, although gasoline stocks rose by 4.4 million barrels, compared with analysts’ expectations in a Reuters poll for a 730,000-barrel decline.
The potential for renewed Sino-US trade talks also helped bolster prices, analysts said.
White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow on Tuesday called it a good sign that top US officials would be travelling to China to discuss reviving stalled trade talks.
Despite the higher oil prices this week, a weaker demand outlook has helped keep gains in check. “Shaky macroeconomic fundamentals and downward revisions by IEA on global oil demand has capped bullish gains,” said Benjamin Lu, commodities analyst at Singapore-based brokerage Phillip Futures. — Reuters