Oil prices up on trade talk hopes and OPEC cuts

LONDON (Reuters) – Oil prices rose on Tuesday, supported by hopes that talks in Beijing between U.S. and Chinese officials might defuse a trade dispute between the world’s two biggest economies, while OPEC-led supply cuts also tightened markets. International Brent crude futures LCOc1 gained 92 cents to $58.25 per barrel by 1130 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures CLc1 climbed 74 cents to $49.26 per barrel. “I think there’s a very good chance that we will get a reasonable settlement that China can live with, that we can live with,” U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Monday as officials from both countries held talks to end the spat. Some analysts warned, however, that the relationship between Washington and Beijing remained shaky and that tensions could soon flare anew. “Surely, there will be more twists and turns in the saga and increasing U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods after March from 10 percent to 25 percent cannot be excluded,” Tamas Varga of PVM Oil Associates said. “For now, however, optimism prevails.” There is also concern that a worldwide economic slowdown will dent fuel consumption. As a result, the hedge fund industry has cut significantly its bullish positions in… continue reading

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