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January 15, 2019 1:00 PM, EST

Oil Gains as US Stockpiles Seen Falling, China Plans Tax Cuts

Oil Field Angus Mordant/Bloomberg News

Oil rose amid estimates of another decline in U.S. crude inventories and signs that China is stepping up efforts to combat an economic slowdown.

Futures in New York climbed as much as 3% after sinking during the past two sessions. American stockpiles probably fell for the sixth time in seven weeks, according to a Bloomberg survey of analysts before government data due Jan. 16. Equities closed higher in Asia after senior Chinese officials promised tax cuts to boost growth. Crude also extended gains as forces allied with Libya’s eastern leader moved to secure oil-producing infrastructure.

“Essentially we have gone from pricing a recession back to a more moderate outlook within the span of just six weeks,” analysts at JBC Energy GmbH in Vienna said.

Oil graph

While oil is resuming an advance that took it into a bull market last week, it’s still more than 30% below October’s four-year high. China’s weakest trade data since 2016 have stoked concerns over the impact of an ongoing trade war with the U.S. But senior policy officials said this week that China will cut taxes “on a larger scale” to help support its slowing economy.

In the U.S., nationwide stockpiles probably declined by 2.5 million barrels last week, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey. If confirmed by government data on Jan. 16, that will mean inventories are staying near their lowest level since early November.