Fundamental Comment

Oil climbs on trade deal hopes, OPEC cuts

Oil climbs on trade deal hopes and OPEC cuts

Oil prices rose on Thursday, supported by an increasing likelihood of a U.S.-China trade agreement being announced soon, along with OPEC-led efforts to restrict supply.

As of 07:44 GMT, Brent crude reached $66.18 per barrel, compared to the session’s open at $66.16 a barrel, while the highest level in the day was hit at $67.48 a barrel.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures traded at $61.17 per barrel, after opening at $61.30 per barrel.

The announcement of the imminent signing of the U.S.-China trade agreement by U.S. President Donald Trump last Tuesday played a major role in supporting the crude oil market.

Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping will attend the signing ceremony to end the trade dispute that lasted about 17 months and dragged down global economic growth and demand for the crude oil.

Consistently, declining demand for the crude oil market due to the trade war has led to production cuts by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies, including Russia, which are less effective in supporting oil prices.

OPEC Plus agreed earlier in November to extend and deepen production cuts. That will consume up to 2.1 million barrels per day of supply, or nearly 2% of global demand.

While U.S. producers are pumping record amounts of shale oil to fill supply gaps, U.S. oil production is expected to slow.

The rise in oil prices came amid low-volume and random trading due to the Christmas holiday.  

Meanwhile, the dollar index, which measures the performance of major six currencies against the U.S dollar, rose to 97.26.

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