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Crude Oil Futures Settle Modestly Higher

Crude oil prices moved higher on Tuesday amid speculation the OPEC members, scheduled to meet in Vienna on December 6, will agree on a production cut.

The markets are also looking ahead to the crude inventory data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Crude stockpiles in the U.S. have risen for ten straight weeks and it is widely expected that the data from UIA this week may well show another increase in inventories.

Crude oil futures for January delivery ended up $0.30, or 0.6%, at $53.25 a barrel. On Monday, crude oil futures had climbed up $2.02, or about 4%, to settle at $52.95 a barrel.

Demand growth worries eased a bit on Monday after the U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed on a 90-day truce on their escalating trade war when they met during the G20 summit in Argentina over the weekend.

Reports that Saudi Arabia and Russia have agreed to reduce oil production, Qatar's decision to pull out of OPEC and the recent announcement from Canadian province of Alberta that there would be an industry-wide 8.7% cut in oil production to deal with the supply gut, continued to support oil's uptick.

However, amid uncertainty about U.S. and China finding a solution to end their dispute before the expiry of the 90-day truce, concerns about a likely fall in demand for crude have resurfaced again. Meanwhile, Trump has threatened that more duties will be imposed on China if trade talks fell through.

According to media reports, OPEC and its allies are looking to reduce oil output by at least 1.3 million barrels per day.

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