Brent crude oil hits 2019-high on Sino-U.S. trade hopes, upbeat China data | Eurasia Diary -

23 August, Friday

Brent crude oil hits 2019-high on Sino-U.S. trade hopes, upbeat China data

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Oil prices rose by around 1 per cent on Thursday, with Brent crude futures hitting a 2019-high, buoyed by hopes that the Sino-U.S. tariff dispute could end soon and as China’s trade figures including crude imports beat forecasts.

International Brent crude oil futures were at $64.35 per barrel at 0754 GMT, up 74 cents, or 1.1 per cent, from their last close. Brent hit a 2019-high of $64.43 per barrel earlier in the session.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $54.46 per barrel, up 57 cents, or 1.1 per cent, from their last settlement.

Optimism that a trade deal could be reached between the United States and China was boosted when U.S. President Donald Trump said talks were going “very well”.

“The 90-day truce (on trade) agreed in December will run out on March 1, but given the progress of the talks there could be an extension, which is why there (is) rising optimism that the two leaders will meet later that month,” said Alfonso Esparza, senior market analyst, OANDA.

Markets were also supported by upbeat China trade data, including for crude oil.

China’s crude oil imports in January rose 4.8 per cent from a year earlier, customs data showed on Thursday, to an average of 10.03 million barrels per day (bpd), the third straight month that imports have exceeded the 10 million bpd mark.

Crude inventories built for a fourth week in a row, rising 3.6 million barrels to 450.8 million barrels in the week to Feb. 8. Analysts polled by Reuters forecast an increase of 2.7 million barrels.

U.S. crude oil production remained at a record of 11.9 million barrels per day (bpd).

The IEA said it expected global oil demand this year to grow by 1.4 million bpd, while non-OPEC supply will increase by 1.8 million bpd.


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