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Oil prices fall a second day ahead of US stockpile numbers


OIL prices fell for a second day on Tuesday as investors awaited US crude inventory data for more insight into oil demand trends, while concerns about economic growth overshadowed signs of a thawing in the trade war between Washington and Beijing.

Brent futures were down 30 cents, or 0.5 per cent, at US$61.27 a barrel by 0733 GMT, having fallen 0.7 per cent on Monday.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was down 40 cents, or 0.7 per cent, at US$55.41, after falling 1.5 per cent in the previous session.

Prices rose sharply last week amid a decline in US inventories and signs of an easing in the US-China trade war, but worries on Monday about weaker economic growth offset hopes of a rise in oil demand even if trade talks progress.

"Where the market remains beaten down by demand concerns, traders could be waiting for signs that the economic data is bottoming and the inventory surpluses are decreasing before fully committing to the long risk-on positions," said Stephen Innes, Asia Pacific market strategist at AxiTrader.

US crude inventories were forecast to have increased by around 700,000 barrels last week, according to a Reuters poll of analysts, having unexpectedly fallen the previous week, the first decline in six weeks.

US crude oil stockpiles at Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point for WTI, have risen by about 1.5 million barrels in the week through Oct 25, traders said earlier, citing data from market intelligence firm Genscape.

The United States Trade Representative is studying whether to extend tariff suspensions on US$34 billion of Chinese goods set to expire on Dec 28 this year, the agency said on Monday.

US President Donald Trump said earlier on Monday he expected to sign a significant part of the trade deal with China ahead of schedule but did not elaborate on the timing.

Leaders of the world's two biggest economies are working to agree on the text for a "Phase 1" trade agreement announced by Trump on Oct 11. Mr Trump has said he hopes to sign the deal with China's President Xi Jinping next month at a summit in Chile. REUTERS

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