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Oil Hikes on Signs of Truce in U.S.- China Trade Conflict, Stockpile Drop

Oil climbed Thursday, recovering from some of the heavy losses in the earlier session, on indicators of easing trade spats between Washington and Beijing and a drop in U.S. crude stockpiles to their lowest in nearly a year.

Brent crude futures surged 23 cents, i.e., 0.4%, to $61.04 per barrel by 0650 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate futures was up 28 cents, i.e., 0.5%, to $56.03 per barrel.

The rise came after China went to spare some U.S. anti-cancer medicines and different goods from duties and U.S. President Donald Trump declared a delay to proposed tariff hikes on billions of dollars’ worth of Chinese imports.

The waivers preceded a planned meeting in coming days geared toward solving the trade battle between the world’s two most prominent economies.

The price surge on Thursday came after both of the central international benchmarks dropped on the previous day following a report that President Trump had contemplated easing sanctions on Iran, a step that would probably boost global crude supply.

Boosting the market’s good temper, the U.S. Energy Information Administration stated Wednesday that U.S. crude stockpiles plunged last week to their lowest in almost a year, as refineries boosted output and imports jumped.

Crude oil stockpile fell for a fourth straight week, shedding 6.9 million barrels in the week to Sept. 6, i.e., more than double analysts’ expectations of a 2.7 million-barrel drop.

At 416.1 million barrels, U.S. crude stockpile had been at their weakest since October last year, and about 2% below the five-year average for this time of year, the EIA stated.