Traders sold off oil this week on rising demand concerns after Chinese officials expressed doubt over the potential to reach a comprehensive long-term trade agreement with the USA, despite the two sides getting closer to a phase one deal.
Oil prices rose 2% on Friday on signs of progress in U.S.
Beijing's state-media Xinhua News Agency said the world's two largest economies had reached "consensus on principles" during a serious and constructive telephone call on Friday between their main trade negotiators. -China trade talks and stronger-than-expected economic data in both countries, including US employment and Chinese manufacturing activity numbers. Chinese officials don't expect any meaningful breakthrough in the talks unless the USA offers to roll back some of the tariffs it has slapped on Chinese imports, according to Bloomberg's sources.
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"The main thing here is the good economic news - Chinese data suggested it was time to buy back in", said Michael Lynch, president of Strategic Energy & Economic Research in Winchester, Mass. "That's going to weigh on the crude oil markets".
Another Reuters survey found output from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries recovered in October from an eight-year low, with a rapid recovery in Saudi production from attacks on its oil infrastructure in September offsetting losses in Ecuador and voluntary curbs under an worldwide supply pact.
Oil prices were little changed on Friday but set for a slide of about 4% on the week hurt by rising global supply and concerns about future demand.
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West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for December ended down $0.88, or about 1.6%, at $54.18 a barrel.
Brent crude futures were up 24 cents, or 0.4 per cent, at $60.85 a barrel by 0221 GMT, having fallen earlier in the session.
The global benchmark crude traded at a premium of $5.55 to WTI. -China trade deal is designed - according to the Trump administration - to lead to a more comprehensive agreement involving more substantive economic reforms. Chinese officials do not expect a meaningful breakthrough in the talks unless the United States offered to roll back some of it has slapped import tariffs China, according to Bloomberg sources. All comments are subject to editorial review.
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