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Oil prices edge lower ahead of inventory data

Oil prices edge lower ahead of inventory data
FILE PHOTO: The sun sets behind an oil pump outside Saint-Fiacre, near Paris, France September 17, 2019. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann/File Photo -
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Christian Hartmann(Reuters)
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TOKYO (Reuters) – Oil prices edged lower in quiet trade on Tuesday as concerns about slower economic growth overshadowed signs of a thawing in the trade war between Washington and Beijing, while investors awaited U.S. inventory data.

Brent <LCOc1> futures were down 3 cents at $61.54 a barrel by 0137 GMT, having fallen 0.7% on Monday.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) <CLc1> crude was down 9 cents at $55.72, after falling 1.5% in the previous session.

Prices rose sharply last week amid a decline in U.S. inventories and signs of an easing in the U.S.-China trade war, but worries on Monday about weaker economic growth offset hopes of a rise in oil demand even if trade talks progress.

“Investors are still giving more weight to weakening demand growth over tightening supplies,” ANZ said in a note.

Total U.S. crude inventories were forecast to have increased by around 700,000 barrels last week, according to a Reuters poll of analysts, having unexpectedly fallen the previous week. [EIA/S]

U.S. crude oil stockpiles at Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point for WTI, have risen by about 1.5 million barrels in the week through Oct. 25, traders said, citing data from market intelligence firm Genscape.

The American Petroleum Institute releases industry data later on Tuesday, while the U.S. government’s Energy Information Administration releases inventory data on Wednesday. [API/S]

The United States Trade Representative is studying whether to extend tariff suspensions on $34 billion of Chinese goods set to expire on Dec. 28 this year, the agency said on Monday.

U.S. President Donald Trump said earlier on Monday he expected to sign a significant part of the trade deal with China ahead of schedule but did not elaborate on the timing.

Leaders of the world’s two biggest economies are working to agree on the text for a “Phase 1” trade agreement announced by Trump on Oct. 11. Trump has said he hopes to sign the deal with China’s President Xi Jinping next month at a summit in Chile.

The trade war has hit economic growth around the world and kept oil prices rangebound for months.

(Reporting by Aaron Sheldrick; editing by Richard Pullin)

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