Crude oil prices slightly fell Wednesday after Energy Information Administration data showed a decline in crude inventories and on expectations for an increase in demand in 2020 due to progress in resolving the U.S.-China trade war.
Brent futures gained 12 cents to end the trading session at $66.22 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude lost a penny to settle at $60.93/Bbl, Kallanish Energy reports.
U.S. crude fell by 1.09 million barrels (Mmbbl) in the week ended Dec. 13, to 446.83 Mmbbl. Analysts in a Reuters poll said they expected a 1.3 Mmbbl drop, EIA said.
Gasoline and distillate inventories grew last week by 2.5 Mmbbl, to 237.3 Mmbbl, and 1.5 Mmbbl, to 125.1 Mmbbl, respectively, EIA said.
Prices had risen more than 1% in the previous session after the announcement last week of the so-called Phase 1 U.S.-China trade deal, which lifted global economic prospects and improved the outlook for energy demand.
Deeper production cuts by members of Opec+ continued to offer some support and prevented a further slide in prices. OPEC+, which includes most Opec members along with 10 non-Opec producers led by Russia, had agreed to cut production by 1.2 million barrels per day (Mmbpd) since Jan. 1 of this year. With the latest production reduction, Opec+ is raising its overall cuts to 1.7 Mmbpd, effective Jan. 1.
RBC Capital Markets said prices could stagnate if trade progress did not translate into concrete economic growth.
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