Crude oil prices were heading for a weekly loss on Friday as a high buildup in the U.S.' crude oil inventories continue to put pressure on prices, while the U.S.-China trade dispute remains unresolved keeping global demand low.
International benchmark Brent crude was trading at $59.97 per barrel at 1230 GMT for a 3.33% loss after opening Monday at $62.04 a barrel.
American benchmark West Texas Intermediate was at $54.62 a barrel at the same time for a 3.58% decline after starting the week at $56.65 per barrel.
Commercial crude oil inventories in the U.S. increased by 5.7 million barrels, or 1.3%, to 438.9 million barrels for the week ending Oct. 25, according to data released by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Wednesday. The market expectation was a rise of 0.5 million barrels.
The EIA data showed that the rise in commercial crude oil stocks in the country marked the sixth time in the last past seven weeks, increasing the glut of oil supply in the global market and putting a downward pressure on crude prices.
On the demand side, the outlook for oil demand and global economic growth remains weak as the U.S.-China trade war rolls into its 19th month without any resolution.
The world's two largest economies and oil consumers have failed to reach a concrete agreement amid discussions on terms for a phase one deal. Yet, most experts consider the phase one deal a temporary truce, rather than a definitive outcome.
Although the U.S. agreed not to increase the rate of tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods as part of the phase one deal, some major points of the trade dispute are yet to be resolved, like technology transfer and intellectual property theft.
By Ovunc Kutlu