Oil Prices Rise On US-China Trade Hopes, Supply Cuts

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Oil prices rose by more than 1.5 percent on Monday on hopes that talks in Beijing can resolve a trade war between the United States and China, while supply cuts by major producers also supported crude.

Brent crude futures LCOc1 were at $58.04 per barrel at 0751 GMT, up 98 cents, or 1.7 percent, from their last close.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures CLc1 were at $48.85 per barrel, up 89 cents, or 1.9 percent.

Financial markets were riding a relief rally on Monday on expectations that face-to-face trade negotiations between delegates from Washington and Beijing, starting on Monday, would lead to an easing in tensions between the two biggest economies in the world.

The United States and Beijing have been locked in an escalating trade spat since early 2018, raising import tariffs on each other’s goods. The dispute has weighed on economic growth.

Goldman Sachs said in a note on Monday that it had downgraded its average Brent crude oil forecast for 2019 to $62.50 a barrel from $70 due to “the strongest macro headwinds since 2015”.

French bank Societe Generale also lowered its oil price forecasts, cutting its 2019 average price expectation for Brent by $9 to $64 a barrel and reducing its WTI forecast to $57 a barrel, also a reduction of $9.

The bank said it had revised its global oil demand growth forecast to 1.27 million barrels per day (bpd), down from 1.43 million bpd previously.

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