Oil Slides on Disappointing U.S

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Oil fell on Thursday after data showing a rise in USA inventories weighed on sentiment already rattled by the global economy, though prices were buoyed by the prospect that supply could fall short of global demand.

An oil pumpjack and a tank with the corporate logo of state oil company PDVSA are seen in an oil facility in Lagunillas, Venezuela January 29, 2019.

The producers known as OPEC+ started cutting production by 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) from last month to avert a new supply glut, and OPEC has delivered nearly three quarters of its pledged cuts already, a Reuters survey showed last week.

"The fact that US crude oil and gasoline stocks rose more sharply than expected, as reported by the API after the close of trading yesterday, is weighing on prices", said Carsten Fritsch, an analyst at Commerzbank.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $54.77 per barrel at 0223 GMT, up 21 cents or 0.4 percent. OPEC supply fell last month by the largest amount in two years, a Reuters survey last week found.

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak has said the country's overall cuts from the October baseline would total 50,000 bpd in January.

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Output declines from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) as they make good on their pact to curb a supply overhang were compounded by falling U.S. oil rig counts and sanctions on Venezuelan oil sales.

The sanctions will limit oil transactions between Venezuela and other countries and are similar to those imposed on Iran previous year, some analysts said after examining details announced by the US government. -China trade war, which has dragged on world markets as investors worry that the dispute could contribute to a potential global economic slowdown.

The U.S. has struck the "right balance" to meet U.S. market needs and all options and "are on the table" going forward, Mnuchin told reporters outside the White House.

Venezuela's opposition is opening a US fund to receive the proceeds of oil sales, a key measure to secure revenue for its effort to dislodge President Nicolas Maduro, an opposition lawmaker said on Wednesday.

"While the United States and China have yet to reach a deal, markets were buoyed by reports that they have made significant progress", ANZ Bank said in a research note.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will lead a delegation to Beijing next week to lay the groundwork for a meeting between Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping later this month.

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