Oil futures prices bounced around Thursday, at risk of halting an eight-session rally that has taken the U.S. benchmark to four-week highs and pushed both contracts out of bear-market territory.
“The cautious reaction from the U.S.-China trade talks has prompted investors to hold off on oil once again,” said Mihir Kapadia, chief executive officer and founder of Sun Global Investments. “Despite what has been a week of positive sentiment as the U.S. and China looked likely to make progress towards a deal, [Thursday’s] latest price drop has followed the lack of detail provided by both countries as to the outcome of these talks.”
A slightly stronger U.S. dollar DXY, +0.32% also helped to push oil lower, as the firmer buck makes U.S. crude more expensive for investors using another currency.
In Thursday dealings, West Texas Intermediate crude for February delivery CLG9, -0.08% picked up 32 cents, or 0.6%, to $52.65 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, reversing course after trading lower earlier in the session. Goosed by an over 5% gain, it settled Wednesday at $52.36 a barrel, for the highest finish since Dec. 13. Prices have now climbed out of a bear market, rising by 23% from its 52-week low of $42.53 on Dec. 24, according to Dow Jones Market Data.
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