Investing.com - Crude prices were mixed on Friday, as traders waited for news on trade progress between the U.S. and China amid worrying signs of shrinking global growth.
U.S. President Donald Trump said he could meet Chinese President Xi Jinping soon to seal a deal ahead of the March 1 trade deadline. The news was offset by worry that the global impact of the trade war between the two largest economies is still taking its toll, with the Caixin/Markit index of Chinese manufacturing falling to its lowest since February 2016.
West Texas Crude oil futures for March were down 0.22% to $53.67 a barrel as of 8:20 AM ET (13:20 GMT). Brent crude futures, the benchmark for oil prices outside the U.S., rose 0.08% to $60.88 a barrel.
Oil prices received some support this week following the Trump administration's sanctions against Carasas' state-owned oil firm PDVSA which effectively halts the flow of Venezuelan crude, a heavy sulfur-laden grade that's critical for making diesel and other transportation fuels, to the U.S.
Elsewhere weekly oil data showed a drop of 1.1 million barrels in Saudi exports of crude to the U.S., which also weighed on prices.
Meanwhile, investors are looking ahead to weekly rig count data from Baker Hughes, which is considered a leading indicator of demand for oil products.
In other energy trading, Gasoline RBOB Futures rose 1% to $1.3916 a gallon, while heating oil decreased 0.5% to $1.8677 a gallon. Natural gas futures slumped 0.3% to $2.804 per million British thermal units.