Crude oil prices were up for Wednesday’s trading start as crude stocks in the U.S. fell by more than market expectations, and prices were also supported with the easing of Sino-American trade tensions that diminished worries of lower global economic growth and oil demand.
International benchmark Brent crude gained 1.52% on Tuesday to close at $59.59 per barrel, and on Wednesday prices changed little trading at $59.51 a barrel at 0630 GMT.
American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) soared by 3.67% during the previous session to finish the day at $55.61 per barrel. At 0630 GMT Wednesday, its price saw little movement trading at $55.59 per barrel.
The jump in crude prices came after American Petroleum Institute data late Tuesday showed that U.S. crude oil inventories decreased for the second time in four weeks by 11.1 million barrels for the week ended Aug. 23, against the market expectation of a decline of 2 million barrels.
U.S. President Donald Trump told reporters Monday at the G7 summit in France that his country and China would restart trade talks, giving positive signals to markets and investors that trade issues between the world's two largest economies and biggest oil consumers could be solved.
"China called last night our top trade people and said ‘let’s get back to the table’ so we will be getting back to the table, and I think they want to do something," Trump said.
"They have been hurt very badly, but they understand this is the right thing to do, and I have great respect for it. This is a very positive development for the world," he added.
Oil prices plummeted on Friday after China and the U.S. imposed a number of tariffs on each other.
China said earlier Friday it would impose tariffs of between 5% and 10% on $75 billion worth of American goods from Sept. 1. And from Dec. 15, China plans to implement a 25% tariff on imports of U.S. car and 5% on auto parts and components.
In retaliation, Trump said the U.S. would raise tariff rates from 25% to 30% on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods starting from Oct. 1. In addition, an increase in taxes from 10% to 15% would be applied to $300 billion worth of goods imported from China beginning Sept. 1, he added.
By Ovunc Kutlu