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OIL: WTI & Brent trade ~$0.50 above settlement levels after U.S. President Trump
provided a gesture of goodwill to China in the form of a 2-week delay re: the
next round of tariffs to be levied on Chinese goods.
- This comes after the benchmarks shed > $1.50 apiece Wednesday, pressured by
OPEC downgrading its '19 oil demand growth f'cast & BBG reports suggesting that
"Donald Trump discussed easing sanctions on Iran to help secure a meeting with
Iranian President Rouhani later this month, prompting then-National Security
Advisor Bolton to argue forcefully against such a step."
- The latest weekly DoE inventory report provided a larger than exp. headline
draw (although not as deep as that seen in the API estimate). Elsewhere, a
surprise drawdown was seen in distillate stocks, while the modest drawdown in
gasoline stocks wasn't as deep as what was seen in the API figures. Cushing
stocks also drew, with production steady and refinery run rates ticking higher.
- The OPEC+ JMMC will convene today. Russian Energy Minister Novak has suggested
that there is no need to talk about deeper production cuts, while some others
have pointed to the need for such discussions to take place.