Oil was mixed on Wednesday morning in Asia, with producers shutting off most offshore output in the Gulf of Mexico ahead of Hurrican Laura.
Brent oil futures were up 0.24% to $46.40 by 12:06 AM ET (5:06 AM GMT) and WTI Futures inched down 0.02% to $43.34.
As many as 310 offshore facilities have been evacuated, and around 84% of Gulf of Mexico offshore production has been shut down as the industry prepares for a major hurricane strike. Laura poses the region’s biggest storm threat since Hurricane Katrina in 2005, which caused a 90% shutdown.
But prices were boosted by the optimism over U.S.-China relations, with officials from both countries reaffirming commitment to their phase one trade deal. China’s recommitment to the deal could see a potential boost in flows between two of the world’s largest oil consumers.
Also capping losses was Tuesday’s data from the American Petroleum Institute predicting a fall in crude oil supplies. API reported a draw of 4.5 million barrels, slightly larger than the previous week’s 4.26 million-barrel draw.
Investors now await inventory data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration , due later in the day.