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Saturday, January 11, 2020

Oil Prices Continue to Fall as U.S.-Iran Tensions Ease, Set for Weekly Loss

© Reuters.  © Reuters.

Investing.com - Oil prices continued to fall on Friday in Asia and were set to record their first weekly loss since November as U.S.-Iran conflict cooled.

U.S. Crude Oil WTI Futures dropped 0.2% to $59.48 by 12:50 AM ET (04:50 GMT), while International Brent Oil Futures slipped 0.1% to $65.32.

The U.S. House of Representatives voted overnight to curb U.S. President Donald Trump’s power to strike Iran. Meanwhile, in comments to Fox News, Vice President Mike Pence said the Islamic Republic has asked militias in the Middle East not to carry out attacks against U.S. interests.

The easing of the U.S.-Iran tensions reduced concerns of a potential supply disruption in the Middle East, and were cited as the catalyst of selling in oil prices in the past two days.

On the Sino-U.S. trade front, China’s Ministry of Commerce spokesman Gao Feng confirmed that Vice Premier Liu He will travel to Washington between Jan. 13 and 15 to sign a phase one trade deal.

He said he has no more information to release about the trade talks, other than that the teams remain in close contact.

Trump previous said that the deal will be signed at the White House on Jan. 15. Under the accord, which was announced in December, the U.S. halted plans for new tariffs on Chinese imports and reduced some existing levies, while Beijing agreed to increase agricultural purchases.

The positive trade news failed to lift oil prices today however, as they were largely overshadowed by improving situation in the Middle East.

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