Oil prices are falling amid hopes of an end to the US-China trade war
Economy News _ Baghdad
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil prices fell on Thursday amid fears of falling fuel demand, as talks between the United States and China, the world's top oil consumer, are not expected to help end their trade war, raising fears about the global economy.
BEIJING (Reuters) - China, the world's biggest oil importer, lowered expectations for talks on Thursday and Friday to end a 15-month-old trade dispute with the United States. US President Donald Trump is set to raise the tariff rate on some $ 250 billion of Chinese goods to 30% from 25% on October 15 if some signs of progress are not seen.
The trade dispute between the world's two largest economies disrupted global supply chains and slowed growth in both countries, limiting fuel consumption growth.
World Brent crude futures were down 11 cents, or 0.2%, at $ 58.21 a barrel by 0354 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (CLT1) futures were down 11 cents, or 0.2%, at $ 52.48 a barrel.
"If the US-China trade negotiations take the worst, market pessimism will put severe negative pressure on oil prices," said Benjamin Lu, a commodity analyst at Phillip Futures in Singapore.
Prices were also affected by a report on rising inventories in the United States, currently the world's largest oil producer.
The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Wednesday that crude oil inventories in the United States rose 2.9 million barrels per week, more than double the analysts' expectations of an increase of 1.4 million barrels.
In addition, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has quietly amended its production agreement to allow Nigeria to increase production, adding more supplies.
Three OPEC members familiar with the matter said OPEC had granted Nigeria a lift to 1.774 million bpd from 1.685 million bpd.
OPEC member Venezuela will also increase exports despite US economic sanctions that have cut shipments from the country.
Indian refiner Reliance Industries Ltd is planning to start loading Venezuelan crude after a four-month hiatus, another sign of an oversupply of crude in the market.