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  • Oil falls as trade worries outweigh supply disruption risks.
  • Focus on US-China trade developments and US weekly Crude Stocks data.

WTI (oil futures on NYMEX) came under fresh selling pressure last hour, having stalled its steady recovery mode ahead of the 53 handle, as fresh US-China trade concerns and no-deal Brexit risks returned to markets and killed the appetite for the risk assets such as oil.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement that it is preparing to retaliate to the US’ backlisting of the Chinese firms ahead of the US-China talks this Thursday. The comments tempered the risk sentiment across Europe, as indicated by the sell-off in the European equities, US equity futures and Treasury yields.

However, it remains to be seen how far the bears can succeed, as the Middle East supply disruption risks will continue to offer support going forward. Protests in the OPEC’s two oil producers threaten to disrupt the output while Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) shut down of the Faregh oil field at Zueitina port also adds to the supply challenges.  

The immediate focus now remains on the US weekly Crude Stocks data due to be published by the American Petroleum Institute (API) later today at 2030 GMT for fresh near-term impetus in the prices.

WTI Levels to watch