Oil prices fall as hopes for U.S.-China trade progress wilt


U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures CLc1 were down 12 cents, or 0.2%, at $52.47.

"Barkindo's comment reminds markets that if oil prices do not fall off a cliff over demand concerns, we could very see OPEC+ extend their production cuts throughout the majority of 2020", said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA in NY.

OPEC separately released its October monthly oil market report on Thursday in which it trimmed its forecast for world economic growth in 2020 to 3% from 3.1%, saying "it seems increasingly likely that the slowing growth momentum in the US will carry over to 2020". OPEC, however, left its outlook for 2020 demand growth unchanged at 1.08 million barrels a day.

Those signals from OPEC suggested a tighter global oil supply picture, but elsewhere abundance reigned.

Elsewhere, negotiators from the United States and China, the world's top two economies, will meet in Washington on Thursday in the latest effort to hammer out a deal aimed at ending a long-running trade dispute that has slowed global growth.

"Crude oil has, just like other riskier assets, received a boost from news that China is open to accept a partial trade deal", Saxo Bank commodity strategist Ole Hansen said.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Tuesday forecast that Brent spot prices will average 59 U.S. dollars per barrel in the fourth quarter of 2019 and then fall to 57 dollars per barrel by the second quarter of 2020, which is five dollars per barrel lower than its previous forecast in September.

Additionally, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) quietly adjusted its production pact to allow Nigeria to raise its output, adding more supply.

Both benchmarks are down more than 20% from April peaks. It is not trending.

"It would be stretching it to say that the market is paralyzed, but it is in a stalemate".