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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

Oil steady on trade pact optimism

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1408541

SINGAPORE: Oil prices hovered around three-month highs on Monday following a higher-than-expected crude inventory drawdown and optimism over an expected U.S-China trade deal, while traders kept a close eye on Middle East.


West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures edged up 1 cent to $61.73 a barrel by 0210 GMT. The US benchmark is up about 36 per cent so far this year.


Brent crude futures were at $68.28 a barrel, up 12 cents. The international benchmark has risen around 27 per cent in 2019.


“There are a couple of catalysts driving up the crude oil prices recently: trade optimism, a large drop in US commercial stockpiles, a plunge in USD and air strikes,” said market analyst Margaret Yang of CMC Markets.


China’s Commerce Ministry said that it is in close touch with the United States on the signing of a long-awaited trade deal. The two countries on December 13 announced a “Phase one” agreement that reduces some US tariffs in exchange for what US officials said would be a big jump in Chinese purchases of US farm products and other goods. — Reuters


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