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Oil Jumps as Rockets Rain on Turkey, Deepening Conflict Worries

Joe Carroll and Sheela Tobben
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Oil Jumps as Rockets Rain on Turkey, Deepening Conflict Worries

(Bloomberg) -- Oil climbed after simmering tensions between Turkey and Syria erupted into a shooting war, heightening geopolitical concerns on the edge of one of the world’s most important crude-producing regions.

Futures rose as much as 2% in New York, halting two sessions of losses. A 2.93 million-barrel increase in U.S. crude inventories that exceeded the forecasts of more than 70% of analysts in a Bloomberg survey wasn’t enough to defuse the bullish momentum.

Turkey formally announced the commencement of military intervention in Syria on Wednesday, just days after U.S. President Donald Trump said he wouldn’t stand in the way. That was followed within hours by a report that rockets fired from Syria struck a Turkish town.

Oil prices had been on a downward trend after spiking in mid-September in the wake of attacks on Saudi Arabia’s energy industry. Signals that China might accept a limited deal with the U.S., as well as signs of a weakening dollar, were supportive to prices.

West Texas Intermediate for November delivery rose 97 cents to $53.60 a barrel at 11:39 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Brent for December settlement gained 95 cents to $59.19 on the London-based ICE Futures Europe Exchange. The global benchmark crude traded at a $5.63 premium to WTI for the same month.

The Energy Information Administration on Wednesday reported that U.S. inventories of gasoline and diesel last week declined more than analysts in a Bloomberg survey expected. Crude stockpiles at the key storage hub in Cushing, Oklahoma, rose by 941,000 barrels.

Meanwhile, the long-running U.S.-China trade deadlock appeared to thaw after Beijing indicated it’s open to reaching a partial trade deal with the U.S. The dispute has weighed on energy markets for months because it undermines global economic growth that dictates fuel demand.

Two days of U.S.-China talks start Thursday in Washington. While negotiators aren’t optimistic about securing a broad agreement that would end the trade war, China would accept a partial deal as long as the Trump administration doesn’t impose any more tariffs, according to an official who asked not to be named because the discussions are private.

--With assistance from Elizabeth Low and Alex Longley.

To contact the reporters on this story: Joe Carroll in Houston at jcarroll8@bloomberg.net;Sheela Tobben in New York at vtobben@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: David Marino at dmarino4@bloomberg.net, Joe Carroll, Mike Jeffers

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