Oil prices rise as US-Chinese talks continue

Oil prices rose on Tuesday on hopes that US-Chinese talks would bring a halt to trade disputes between the world’s biggest economies, while OPEC-led supply cuts tightened markets.

International Brent crude futures were at $57.77 per barrel at 0113 GMT, up 44 cents, or 0.8 percent from their last close.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures were at $48.85 per barrel, up 33 cents, or 0.7 percent.

Asian stock markets rose as investors hope Washington and Beijing will reach some sort of agreement.

“We remain concerned about the world’s most important bilateral relationship,” political risk consultancy Eurasia Group said in its 2019 outlook.

“The US political establishment believes engagement with Beijing is no longer working, and it’s embracing an openly confrontational approach … (and) rising nationalist sentiment makes it unlikely that Beijing will ignore US provocations,” Eurasia Group said.

“Crude oil prices have benefited from OPEC production cuts and steadying equities markets,” said Mithun Fernando, investment analyst at Australia’s Rivkin Securities.

US crude oil production rose by a whopping 2 million barrels per day (bpd) last year to a world record 11.7 million bpd.

With drilling activity still high, most analysts expect US oil production to rise further this year.

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