Oil prices decline on rising USA inventories

United States Oil lower after U.S. government data revealed that domestic crude supplies rose for a second week in a row

Oil unchanged after overnight losses amid caution over trade talks

Fall comes after oil market posted gains for three consecutive sessions.

Brent for January settlement declined $1.22 to end the session at $61.74 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe Exchange.

While Beijing's statement on Thursday was viewed positively, a senior official of US President Donald Trump's administration told Reuters on Wednesday that a meeting between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping to sign an interim deal could be delayed until December as talks continue over terms and venue.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for December delivery lost 28 cents to $56.95 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange as of 7:32 a.m.in London.

The American Petroleum Institute reported that crude stockpiles increased by 4.26 million barrels last week, according to people familiar, before official government data later on Wednesday.

Oil prices received some support earlier this week by expectations that China and the US were on the cusp of concluding phase one of their trade deal that would roll back much of the tit-for-tat tariffs.

"This is definitely a shocking number, even if you're bearish you're shocked", said Phil Flynn, an analyst at Price Futures Group.

Gasoline stocks fell by 2.8 million barrels, compared with analysts' expectations in a Reuters poll for a 1.8 million-barrel drop. Negotiators are also discussing lowering the 25 percent duty on about $250 billion of imports that Trump imposed previous year, the people said. Distillates inventories fell 622,000 barrels, compared with forecasts for a drop of about 950,000.

Data on Wednesday showed Germany's services sector barely grew in October, while euro zone business activity expanded slightly faster than expected last month, but remained close to stagnation.

Middle East tensions offered some support.

The United States pulled out of the nuclear pact past year and has imposed tough new sanctions on Iran.

"Accordingly, conditions are ripe for tensions in the region to escalate and for the geopolitical risk premium to strike back with a vengeance". That market position, known as backwardation, has slowly been giving way to the more usual position where future prices are higher than current spot prices (called contango).

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