The oil price drop came even as the American Petroleum Institute, an industry group, said late Tuesday that USA crude inventories fell by 3.3 million barrels last week. "Markets from equities to oil now seem to quickly brush off and recover as the trade dispute between the USA and China continues".
"Equities have been the most significant external driver for the short-term price direction of oil, with the significant volatility coming (partly) from the perception of a trade war", said Dominic Chirichella, senior partner at the Energy Management Institute in NY.
At 1005 GMT, ICE June Brent crude futures were at $67.92/b, up a touch from Monday's $67.64/b settle, while the NYMEX May light sweet crude contract was at $63.27/b, against Monday's $63.01/b settle. The retaliatory measures came a day after the Trump administration threatened stiff new tariffs on some $50 billion Chinese imports across 1,300 categories of products.
U.S. WTI futures were up 29 cents per barrel as of 12:26 p.m. HK/SIN, to $63.66 per barrel Brent crude futures were up 32 cents per barrel to $68.34 per barrel.
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In the United States, where supplies have threatened to undermine OPEC's curbs, an industry report said inventories slid last week.
Prices last week rose to a recent high of $71 per barrel, before crashing by 4% early this week and staging a partial recovery on Wednesday.
Oil prices were modestly higher on Thursday, helped by gains in USA equities markets as trade tensions between China and the United States eased, but the advance was limited by strength in the dollar.S.
Oil rose toward $64 a barrel as investors received a reprieve from growing American crude stockpiles and on signs that trade tensions between the USA and China may ease. Inventories are forecast to have risen by 2 million barrels, according to a Bloomberg survey. The extent to which it counterbalance output cuts from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will be critical, said Gene McGillian, manager of market research at Tradition Energy in Stamford.
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