China started trading its own crude oil futures

Shanghai crude oil futures jump more than 6%

Shanghai crude oil futures got off to another strong start in their second day of trading on Tuesday.

Nearly 15.4 million barrels of Shanghai's most-active September contract changed hands in the 2-1/2-hour morning session to 11:30 a.m. (0330 GMT).

Crude was also squeezed ed by a rise in the number of USA rigs drilling for oil to a three-year high of 804, implying further rises in production, which has already jumped by a quarter since mid-2016 to 10.4 million barrels per day (bpd).

The long-heralded trading debut of the crude oil futures - the first commodity futures contract that allows foreign traders to participate - comes after China surpassed the United States to become the world's largest crude importer in 2017.

Trade tensions appeared to ease a bit on Monday, however, as The Wall Street Journal reported (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-china-said-to-be-talking-behind-the-scene-to-avoid-trade-war-2018-03-25) that China and the us have quietly started negotiating to improve USA access to Chinese markets.

Shanghai Crude aims to rival the world's two crude benchmarks, luring overseas traders with the promise of a deep pool of liquidity and the chance for arbitrage between Asian, U.S. and European markets.

The current deal, under which OPEC and non-OPEC producers are cutting supply by about 1.8 million barrels per day, expires in March 2018.

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Brent has risen by more than 5 percent this month while WTI is up over 4 percent.

Oil prices fell on Wednesday, with Brent dropping back below $70 per barrel and U.S. West Texas Intermediate crudes dipping below $65, pulled down by a report of increasing U.S. crude inventories that surprised many traders.

China kicked off its first ever crude futures on Monday.

US trade policy against China last week rattled the broader markets.

Skeptics argue that hurdles such as capital controls, regulatory risk and market intervention in other Chinese securities have made investors cynical about the prospect of Shanghai futures becoming a regional price-setter. "I still think there is a general reluctance from global investors to trade Chinese-based contracts".

The regulators in the country hope futures will serve as a means of venture capital management for its oil companies, a reference price for industry players and a means to help open the country's financial markets. Trading in futures from apple to steel has exploded in recent years across the nation's three commodity exchanges, prompting regulators to repeatedly step in to quell fears of a bubble.

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