New York: Oil prices touched their highest since mid-November on Friday and posted weekly gains for the second week in a row, boosted by hopes that U.S.-China trade talks would soon produce a deal, although new record U.S. oil supply limited gains.
Brent crude futures briefly reached USD 67.73 a barrel, their 2019 high. The global benchmark fell 5 cents to settle at USD 67.12 a barrel. Brent gained 1.2 per cent on the week.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures gained 30 cents to settle at USD 57.26 per barrel, after hitting USD 57.81 earlier on Friday, also their highest for the year. WTI recorded a 3-percent weekly rise and reached its strongest settlement price of 2019.
Top US and Chinese trade negotiators met on Friday to wrap up a week of talks that have seen the two sides struggle to reach a deal by a March 1 deadline.
US President Donald Trump will meet with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He at the Oval Office later on Friday.
“Oil prices, as well as the stock market have been rising on the anticipation that China and the US would agree to a trade deal,” said Andy Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates in Houston. “In addition, we’re seeing a tightening of oil supplies around the world resulting from OPEC and non-OPEC production cuts.”
Both oil benchmarks have risen this year after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, including Russia, began to cut output to prevent a supply glut from growing....