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Oil Falls as Pessimism Clouds Prospect of Trade War Settlement

Jacquelyn Melinek and Sheela Tobben
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Oil Falls as Pessimism Clouds Prospect of Trade War Settlement

(Bloomberg) -- Oil fell the most in about two weeks from an eight-week high amid dimming prospects for resolution to the long-running U.S.-China trade war.

Futures dropped 1.2% in New York on Monday. Chinese government officials were reportedly pessimistic about the chances of coming to agreement with American counterparts. Meanwhile, the U.S. government issued a report predicting a production increase from major shale plays next month.

“The market seems to be concerned about the U.S.-China trade talks,” said Michael Loewen, director of commodity strategy at Scotiabank in Toronto. “There is some pessimism surrounding it, particularly over President Trump’s reluctance to roll back on tariffs for China’s goods.”

The EIA sees crude output at major U.S. shale plays increasing by 49,000 barrels a day to 9.13 million in December. Production in the Permian basin is expected to grow by 57,000 barrels a day next month.

Crude hasn’t moved above the $60-a-barrel mark since mid-September amid conflicting signals about whether and when the world’s two biggest economies will break their deadlock. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil explorer cut the valuation target for its initial public share sale and abandoned plans to market the offering in major international financial centers.

WTI for December delivery fell 67 cents to settle at $57.05 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Brent for January settlement declined 86 cents to close at $62.44 on the London-based ICE Futures Europe Exchange. The global benchmark crude traded at a $5.30 premium to WTI for the same month.

See also: Oil Traders Up All Night as Chinese Buyers Seek ‘Trigger’ Prices

Saudi Arabia will sell just 1.5% of Aramco’s shares and set a valuation target of $1.6 trillion to $1.71 trillion. The energy giant canceled the London leg of its roadshow, scheduled for Wednesday, according to people familiar with the situation, after earlier deciding not to market the offering in the U.S., Canada or Japan. The deal will now mainly rely on rich Saudi families and other local investors.

To contact the reporters on this story: Jacquelyn Melinek in New York at jmelinek@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, Mike Jeffers, Catherine Traywick

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