Oil prices rise over 2 percent on trade talk optimism

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Oil prices rose more than 2 percent on Tuesday, supported by hopes that crude demand may rise more quickly if talks between U.S. and Chinese officials resolve the trade dispute between the world’s two biggest economies.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures CLc1 settled up $1.26, or 2.6 percent, at $49.78 a barrel. During the session, the contract touched $49.95, the highest since Dec. 17.

Brent crude futures LCOc1 rose $1.39 a barrel, or 2.4 percent, to $58.72.

“The trade situation is definitely bullish; you have a good demand construction if we can wrap up this trade deal,” said Bob Yawger, director of futures at Mizuho in New York.

The talks are going well so far and will continue on Wednesday, U.S. delegation member Steven Winberg said.

These are the first face-to-face meetings between officials from the two countries since U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed in December to a 90-day truce in a trade war that has buffeted global financial markets.

On Monday, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and China’s foreign ministry expressed optimism on resolving the dispute.

Some analysts warned, however, that tensions could flare anew.

The talks are going well so far and will continue on Wednesday, U.S. delegation member Steven Winberg said.

These are the first face-to-face meetings between officials from the two countries since U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed in December to a 90-day truce in a trade war that has buffeted global financial markets.

On Monday, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and China’s foreign ministry expressed optimism on resolving the dispute.

Some analysts warned, however, that tensions could flare anew.

Saudi-based Arab Petroleum Investments Corp, which funds petroleum projects, estimated that oil prices are likely to trade at $60 to $70 per barrel by mid-2019.

Still, U.S. oil supply is surging. A steep rise in onshore shale drilling has helped make the United States the world’s top producer, with crude production C-OUT-T-EIA up 2 million barrels per day (bpd) last year to a world record 11.7 million bpd.

The market is closely watching U.S. supplies, which analysts expect pulled back 3.3 million barrels in the latest week. If government data on Wednesday confirms that forecast, it would send a strong bullish signal to the market, said John Kilduff, a partner at Again Capital Management in New York.

CNBC

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Ed Moya

Ed Moya

Senior Market Analyst at OANDA
With more than 20 years’ trading experience, Ed Moya is a market analyst with OANDA, producing up-to-the-minute fundamental analysis of geo-political events and monetary policies in the US, Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. Over the course of his career, he has worked with some of the world’s leading forex brokerages and research departments including Global Forex Trading, FX Solutions and Trading Advantage. Most recently he worked with TradeTheNews.com, where he provided market analysis on economic data and corporate news. Based in New York, Ed is a regular guest on several major financial television networks including BNN, CNBC, Fox Business, and Bloomberg. He is often quoted in leading print and online publications such as the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post. He holds a BA in Economics from Rutgers University. Follow Ed on Twitter @edjmoya ‏
Ed Moya