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Oil prices extend gain on US-China trade hopes

LONDON, February 14, 2019 – Oil prices extended their gains on Thursday in Asia on US-China trade hopes. Positive China data was also cited as supportive.

US Crude Oil WTI Futures were at $54.31 per barrel at 1:00 AM ET (06:00 GMT), up 0.8%, from their last settlement.

International Brent Oil Futures were up 0.9%, at $64.19 a barrel.

Oil prices rose amid optimism that the world’s biggest economies are closer to ending their trade war, with the latest round of high-level trade talks being held in Beijing this week.

 

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Wednesday the talks were going well, while President Donald Trump is considering pushing back the deadline by 60 days, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

The president told reporters earlier this week that he is open to let the original March 1 deadline slide if US and China get closer to a deal, though he added he was not “inclined” to do so.

U.S. tariffs on $200 billion worth of imports from China are scheduled to rise to 25% from 10% if the two sides don’t reach a deal by the deadline.

Meanwhile, China’s crude oil imports in January rose 4.8% from a year earlier, customs data showed on Thursday, to an average of 10.03 million barrels per day (bpd).

China’s trade surplus with the United States narrowed to $27.3 billion in January, from $29.87 billion in December, the data also showed.

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