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Oil Prices Ease On Trade Uncertainty

Oil prices fell on Thursday on concerns of lower fuel demand following a slew of conflicting reports around today's U.S.-China trade talks.

Global benchmark Brent crude declined half a percent to $58.03 a barrel, while
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures were down 0.45 percent at $52.36 per barrel.

The United States and China made no progress in deputy-level trade talks held on Monday and Tuesday in Washington, the South China Morning Post (SCMP) said, citing sources.

The White House has denied reports suggesting that Chinese Vice Premier Liu He is planning to leave Washington on Thursday after just one day of minister-level meetings.

A report from Bloomberg News said China is still open to reaching a partial trade deal with the U.S. as long as Trump doesn't impose any more tariffs.

It was said that Beijing was ready to offer non-core concessions like purchases of agricultural products without giving in on major sticking points.

The U.S. tariff rate on about $250 billion of Chinese goods will increase to 30 percent from 25 percent on Oct. 15 if no progress is made in the negotiations.

Prices were also weighed down by a report showing growing American crude oil inventories.

U.S. crude oil inventories rose by 2.9 million barrels in the week to Oct. 4, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Wednesday, more than double analysts' expectations of an increase of 1.4 million barrels.

Additionally, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has granted Nigeria a higher oil output target, adding more supply.

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