Oil Ends Modestly Higher

Oil Ends Modestly Higher

Crude oil prices edged higher on Friday, amid hopes the trade talks between U.S. and China next week will help diffuse trade tensions and reduce fears about any slowdown in fuel demand.

According to reports, the U.S.-China trade talks in Washington would take place on August 21 and 22, just before the next round of levies targeting $16 billion worth of goods on both sides kick in on August 23.

Crude oil futures for September ended up $0.45, or 0.7%, at $65.91 a barrel. Crude oil futures ended up $0.45, or 0.7%, at $65.46 a barrel on Thursday.

Still, with prices declining in the first three sessions of the week amid concerns about rising U.S. crude stockpiles and worries about outlook for fuel demand, oil futures shed 2.5% in the week.

Besides the U.S.-China trade dispute, the Turkish lira's plunge and fears of a contagion caused jitters in markets across the globe and dragged down emerging market currencies.

On Wednesday, data released by the Energy Information Administration showed U.S. crude oil inventories rose by 6.8 million barrels in the week ended August 10, as against expectations for a drop of about 2.4 million barrels. Following the jump, total U.S. crude oil inventories stood at 414.2 million barrels as of last week.

Recent Chinese import data showed a slowdown in oil demand. Demand from India too grew slower than expected.

Meanwhile, a report released by Baker Hughes today revealed that the rig count in the U.S. remained unchanged from previous week's figure of 869.

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