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Oil Prices Hold Steady In Cautious Trade

Oil prices held largely steady on Monday amid signs of a reprieve in global trade tensions.

Benchmark Brent crude for August delivery shed 0.2 percent to $63.16 per barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were virtually unchanged at 53.99 per barrel.

Global trade tensions eased somewhat after U.S. President Donald Trump announced late Friday that he had suspended plans to impose tariffs on Mexico indefinitely as part of a deal on border security and illegal immigration.

However, U.S.-Sino tensions remain elevated, adding to concerns about growth in oil demand for 2019.

China's exports grew 1.1 percent last month after falling 2.7 percent in April, according to customs data. Analysts had expected a 3.8 percent decline.

Imports, however, plummeted 8.5 percent after rising 4.0 percent in April given softening external conditions.

China's crude oil imports slipped in May to around 40.23 million tons, down from an all-time high of 43.73 million tons in April, because of lower imports from Iran caused by U.S. sanctions and refinery maintenance.

TASS News agency quoted Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih as saying today that Russia was the only oil exporter still undecided on the need to extend the output deal at a policy meeting in Vienna in coming weeks.

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