By Ann Koh and Grant Smith
Crude has rebounded since early October on signs of progress toward a limited trade deal, but prices have swung back and forth on frequent shifts in sentiment. Oil investors are growing restless as the negotiations drag on, with money managers cutting their net bets on a West Texas Intermediate rally by 13% in the week ended Nov. 19.
“The upswing being enjoyed by prices is due on the one hand to renewed optimism about an initial partial trade deal,” said Carsten Fritsch, an analyst at Commerzbank AG in Frankfurt. “Pinning all one’s hopes on this could prove a mistake. There is still no certainty whatsoever that any deal will actually be reached in the new few weeks.”
WTI for January delivery fell 53 cents at $57.24 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange as of 9:05 a.m. local time. It reached $58.74 a barrel on Friday, the highest since Sept. 23, before settling 1.4% lower.
Brent for January settlement declined 40 cents to $62.99 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe Exchange, after dropping 0.9% on Friday. The global benchmark traded at a $5.72 premium to WTI.
China’s concession on intellectual property comes as trade negotiators have been trying to bridge the remaining differences including Beijing’s pledges to buy American farm products, protect IP rights and open its economy further to foreign companies. However, the two countries have struggled to agree on what tariffs each side would roll back as part of the agreement’s initial step.
|Other market news|