Crude Oil Extends Rally Amid Shrinking U.S. Gasoline Supplies

'Bomb Train' Terminal Suits Seen Slowing U.S. Oil Independence

Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Oil headed for a weekly drop as optimism over U.S.-China trade detente was tempered by signs it will still be hard to reach even a limited deal, while American crude inventories data painted a mixed picture.

Futures in New York edged lower on Friday and are down 1.5% for the week. Crude closed 1.1% higher Thursday as shrinking stockpiles of
refined fuels
outweighed the biggest increase in American crude stockpiles in almost six months, according to Energy Information Administration figures. The U.S. is
pushing ahead
with legislation to support pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong, which may make reaching a trade agreement more difficult.

WTI is set for its third loss in the past four weeks

The partial deal touted by President Donald Trump doesn’t roll back existing tariffs, so is unlikely to reverse a slowdown in global growth. China’s economy expanded at the
slowest pace
since the early 1990s last quarter, data showed Friday, more evidence of the toll the trade war is taking. Meanwhile, soaring tanker costs are seeing refiners hold off on spot purchases and consider
run-rate cuts

The rally in prices on Thursday had “shaky foundations” as the market ignored the “massive rise” in U.S. crude inventories, Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at Oanda Asia Pacific Pte, said in a note. The global supply-demand picture is unchanged, and there still could be a trade-war induced recession next year, he said.

West Texas Intermediate for November delivery fell 7 cents to $53.86 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange as of 10:38 a.m. in Singapore. The contract is down 83 cents since Oct. 11 and is on course for its third weekly drop in four.

Brent crude for December settlement fell 23 cents to $59.68 on the London-based ICE Futures Europe, taking its weekly drop to 1.4%. The global benchmark was at a premium of $5.74 to WTI for the same month.

— With assistance by James Thornhill, and Dan Murtaugh

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