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Oil Prices Steady; Sino-U.S. Trade Developments Cited as Supportive

© Reuters. – Oil prices steadied on Tuesday in Asia amid easing trade tension between China and the U.S.

U.S. was little changed at $56.15 by 12:10 AM ET (04:10 GMT), while international inched up 0.1% to $59.77.

Oil prices were supported by some positive developments on the Sino-U.S. trade front today. U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross confirmed overnight that Washington will extend for another 90 days a license that allows China’s Huawei Technologies Co. to temporarily continue doing business with U.S. companies.

Upbeat talks from the U.S. administration about trade on the weekend were also cited as tailwinds for the oil markets. White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said recent conversations between both sides had been “positive” and teleconferences would continue for a week to 10 days.

Elsewhere, the news that Yemeni rebels attacked an oil facility in Saudi Arabia over the weekend remained in focus. While reports suggested that it would take at least a week to repair the damage, state-run Saudi Aramco said oil production was not affected.

On the data front, the American Petroleum Institute, an industry group, is set to release its weekly report on crude inventories on Wednesday while the Energy Information Administration, an agency of the U.S. Department of Energy, will release its data the following day.

Gains in oil prices were limited however as traders remained cautious after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) cut its forecast for global oil demand growth in 2019 by 40,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 1.10 million bpd and indicated the market would be in slight surplus in 2020.

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