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Activity in China’s services sector grew in August at the fastest pace in 3 months with new business accelerating to a 4-month high, prompting the biggest increase in hiring in over a year, a private survey by Caixin/Markit showed on Wednesday. China's cabinet also stated on Wednesday that the country’s central bank will implement both broad and targeted cuts in the reserve requirement ratio (RRR) for its banks "in a timely manner."

Hong Kong’s leader Carrie Lam withdrew an extradition bill that had triggered months of often-violent protests, taking tensions down a notch.

Industry group the American Petroleum Institute reported that U.S. crude inventories rose last week by 401,000 bbls, with crude stockpiles at Cushing, Oklahoma down by 238,000 bbls.

Global oil demand is expected to increase by less than 1 mil bpd in 2019, the Chief Financial Officer of energy major BP Brian Gilvary told reporters on Wednesday. "The macro level is creating huge uncertainty and there is no question that is flowing through to demand," Gilvary said in an interview with Reuters.

The Trump administration has blacklisted what it calls an "oil for terror" network of firms, ships and individuals accused of helping Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) supply Syria with oil in violation of sanctions. U.S. State Department official Brian Hook, who oversees its Iran policy, warned on Wednesday that those doing business with the now-blacklisted entities "are now exposed to U.S. sanctions." The 10 individuals blacklisted on Wednesday included Rostam Qasemi, a former Iranian oil minister, and his son, the U.S. Treasury Department said in a statement. Also blacklisted were subsidiaries of the India-based Mehdi Group that have an interest in the Adrian Darya oil tanker. Eleven oil tankers in which the sanctioned individuals held interests were blacklisted.