Oil Futures Advance on Trade Deal Talk

Liubov Georges
By  Liubov Georges , DTN Energy Reporter

WASHINGTON (DTN) -- Oil futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange and the Brent contract on the Intercontinental Exchange advanced in market-on-close trade Thursday, boosted by reports of a potential breakthrough in U.S.-China trade talks. Reportedly, President Donald Trump offered to roll back up to 50% of the tariffs placed on Chinese exports to the United States ahead of a Dec. 15 deadline for both countries to reach a limited trade deal.

At settlement, NYMEX January West Texas Intermediate futures moved up $0.42 to $59.18 barrel (bbl) and ICE February Brent contract gained $0.48 to end the session at $64.20 bbl. NYMEX January ULSD futures advanced 2.20 cents to $1.9508 gallon and January RBOB contract added 0.22 cents to a $1.6283 gallon settlement.

The futures contracts were adding to those gains post-settlement.

Thursday afternoon, Bloomberg TV broke news that the United States and China reached a phase one trade deal in principle and now wait for Trump to sign off on the agreement.

This morning, the president wrote in a tweet, "Getting VERY close to a BIG DEAL with China. They want it and so do we!"

Markets await official confirmation of a deal, and it remains unclear whether China accepted U.S. terms.

According to wire services, Trump is now in a meeting with advisers ironing out final details of the long-awaited agreement.

The breaking news follows earlier reports U.S. negotiators offered to cancel roughly half of the existing tariffs on $360 billion in Chinese exports in exchange for Beijing purchasing large quantities of U.S. agriproducts.

That was followed by a report from the Wall Street Journal indicating the United States was willing to cancel the next round of China tariffs planned to take effect on another $156 billion of Chinese goods on Dec. 15.

The latest flurry of trade news sent markets sharply higher, with Dow Jones Industrial Average advancing more than 200 points and the S&P 500 Index was up 0.9%.

Officials from both countries have been working toward a resolution in the trade war for over a year, rattling global financial and commodity markets. An agreement would bolster global trade flow and lift the cloud of uncertainty that's been hanging over the market.

Liubov Georges can be reached at liubov.georges@dtn.com


Liubov Georges