Oil holds steady; traders look to U.S. stimulus talks for hope
By Laila Kearney NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil was little changed on Tuesday, pressured by the threat to demand from rising coronavirus cases worldwide and increased Libyan output, though traders said talk of a U.S. stimulus package was supporting markets. Brent crude futures fell 3 cents to $42.59 a barrel by 11:55 a.m
By Laila Kearney
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil was little changed on Tuesday, pressured by the threat to demand from rising coronavirus cases worldwide and increased Libyan output, though traders said talk of a U.S. stimulus package was supporting markets.
Brent crude futures fell 3 cents to $42.59 a barrel by 11:55 a.m. EDT (1555 GMT).
November U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell 4 cents to $40.79. The more active December contract was also down 4 cents at $41.02.
Investors are following negotiations between U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin over another U.S. coronavirus aid package, said John Kilduff, partner at Again Capital in New York.
"If we get a deal, I think that would be supportive, and if we don't get a deal, I think that's going to be somewhat punishing for prices," Kilduff said.
While the U.S. House, led by Pelosi, could potentially pass a bill, the Republican-controlled U.S. Senate is less inclined to agree to bill with a high price tag, hampering the possibility of stimulus.
The rebound in COVID-19 cases in Europe and North America that has sparked renewed lockdown measures is weighing on oil prices, Kilduff said.
"It undermines sentiment, it undermines economic activity, it undermines demand," he said.
A ministerial panel of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies, together known as OPEC+, pledged on Monday to support the market.
However, those countries plan on scaling back the size of its production cuts in January from a current 7.7 million barrels per day (bpd) to roughly 5.7 million bpd in January.
OPEC member Libya, which is exempt from the cuts, is also ramping up production after armed conflict shut almost all of the country's output in January, pumping more oil into an oversupplied market.
Output from its biggest field, Sharara, resumed on Oct. 11 and is now at about 150,000 bpd, about half its capacity, two industry sources told Reuters.
Another 70,000 bpd oilfield is expected to restart on Oct. 24.
(Additonal reporting by Ahmad Ghaddar in London, Sonali Paul in Melbourne and Roslan Khasawneh in Singapore; Editing by Marguerita Choy and Jason Neely)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.