US crude stocks drop 10 million barrels as imports slow

U.S. crude rises 1 per cent on big inventory draw, hurricane fears

Oil gave back some of its recent gains on Friday, but was still headed for the biggest weekly increase since early July, boosted by a decline in U.S stocks, a looming hurricane in Florida and an easing of Sino-U.S. trade rhetoric.

Crude oil prices continued higher today after the Energy Information Administration reported a 10-million-barrel draw in crude oil inventories.

"But our forecast for a slowdown in the USA economy suggests demand will suffer further ahead", Clancy added.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell 40 cents, or 0.7%, to $56.31 a barrel.

The U.S. government's weekly inventory report is due later in the day. Brent was up $1.03 at $60.54 a barrel. Brent crude settled at $61.08, up 59 cents, or 0.98%.

USA oil fell 11 cents, or 0.2%, to $56.60 a barrel.

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It's been a year since the China-US trade war began, and up until this last week, China had refrained from slapping import tariffs on USA crude oil, even as it announced other measures in retaliation to USA import tariffs on Chinese goods.

Cushing stocks have dropped since the government report by over 300,000 barrels, traders said citing market intelligence firm Genscape's mid-week report. Oil prices rose around 1.5 percent in the previous session.

"As China stops importing its crude, the USA will probably have to find more buyers for its still increasing oil production, but finding another market the size of China could prove challenging", JLC International analysts said earlier this week. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies said this week they expect to deplete the global oil surplus with their cuts, and falling inventories in America are indicating some level of success.

President Donald Trump had announced that China was willing to enter negotiations towards a trade deal. -China trade war. The intensifying battle has stoked fears of a global economic slowdown and the potential for a US recession, which would hit demand for energy.

China's Commerce Ministry said Thursday China and the US were discussing the next round of face-to-face trade talks scheduled for September, but hopes for progress hinged on whether Washington could create "favorable" conditions.

Media reports that China will not retaliate anytime soon against the United States because of new US tariffs "is tamping down fears of the trade wars", said Gene McGillian, vice president of market research at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut.

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