Oil prices recouped early losses to trade on a flat note Wednesday as Brexit talks edged towards their final deadline and France reopened its borders with the U.K. to travelers and truck drivers who test negative for Covid-19.
The upside, if any, remained capped after industry data showed an unexpected rise in U.S. crude oil inventories and U.S. President Donald Trump threatened not to sign a $892-billion coronavirus relief bill in the midst of a raging pandemic.
Benchmark Brent crude edge down marginally to $50.09 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were little changed with a positive bias at $47.05.
Both contracts fell about 2 percent on Tuesday amid worries about a likely drop in energy demand due to the rapidly-spreading new coronavirus strain that has prompted several countries to close their borders to Britain.
Political editor Robert Peston said a trade deal between the United Kingdom and the European Union is possible on Wednesday after progress in talks on fishing rights.
France has agreed to let traffic from the U.K. back in after the nations reached agreement over their shared border.
The American Petroleum Institute (API) reported on Tuesday that U.S. crude inventories rose by 2.7 million barrels in the week to Dec. 18, compared with analysts’ expectations for a decline of 3.1 million barrels for the week.
Distillate stocks, which include diesel, heating oil and jet fuel, were up by 1 million barrels, but there was a small draw in gasoline inventories.
The U.S. Congressional nod to a $892 billion coronavirus aid package helped boost investor sentiment, but Trump threatened not to sign the relief bill, saying he wants an increase in the stimulus checks for individuals to $2,000 from $600.
The material has been provided by InstaForex Company – www.instaforex.com
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