Oil rises ahead of trade deal

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    SINGAPORE- Oil prices edged higher on Tuesday as investors focused on the signing of a preliminary trade deal between the United States and China, the world’s top oil consumers, and on expectations of a drawdown in US crude oil inventories.

    However, price gains were capped by receding Middle East tensions, with both Tehran and Washington desisting from any further escalation after this month’s clashes.

    Brent crude was up 16 cents, or 0.3 percent, at $64.36 per barrel after falling 1 percent on Monday. US West Texas Intermediate crude futures were up 13 cents, or 0.2 percent, at $58.21 a barrel.

    “Oil prices are modestly rebounding, following four days of intense selling,” said Edward Moya, analyst at brokerage OANDA, pointing to trade-deal optimism and fading concerns over the US-Iran conflict.

    “Oil prices are tentatively rebounding after seller exhaustion kicked in as investors await the next developments on the trade front and as earnings season begins.”

    Oil prices were supported ahead of the signing at the White House on Wednesday of a Phase 1 trade deal, which marks a major step in ending a dispute that has cut global growth and dented demand for oil. – Reuters