Oil Climbs On US-Sino Trade Optimism, Positive China Data

By Mubasher

Oil prices climbed on Thursday, shored up by optimism that global economic outlook would see an improvement thanks to the potential progress in the latest round of talks between the US and China.

Crude markets were also buoyed by China’s trade figures including crude imports, which came beyond forecasts.

By 8:15 am GMT, global benchmark Brent futures climbed 1.35% to $64.47 per barrel (pb), while US Nymex crude futures rose 1.11% to $54.50 pb.

Hopes that a trade agreement could be clinched between Washington and Beijing mounted after US President Donald Trump said that the negotiations were going “very well”.

“The 90-day [trade] truce 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,” OANDA senior market analyst Alfonso Esparza told Thomson Reuters.

Moreover, China’s crude oil imports climbed 4.8% year-on-year in January, as shown by customs data showed on Thursday, to an average of 10.03 million barrels per day (bpd), exceeding the 10 million bpd mark for the third month in a row.

However, some figures did not indicate tight market conditions and higher prices.

US oil inventories jumped by 3.6 million barrels to 450.8 million barrels last week, reaching the highest level since November 2017, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Wednesday. US oil output stood at a record of 11.9 million bpd.

Global oil market would struggle this year to absorb surging crude supply from outside the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), even with the producer club’s production curbs and US sanctions against Venezuela and Iran, the International Energy Agency said in a report on Wednesday.

The Paris-based energy watchdog expects global oil demand this year to grow by 1.4 million bpd, while non-OPEC supply would rise by 1.8 million bpd.

This article provided by NewsEdge.