Oil prices edge up on trade talk hopes and OPEC cuts

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The West Texas Intermediate for February delivery increased 0.56 USA dollar to settle at 48.52 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for March delivery rose 0.27 dollar to close at 57.33 dollars a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.

The oil producers' cartel and its allies, including Russian Federation, promised to cut production by 1.2m barrels per day.

Moving forward, the American Petroleum Institute will publish its weekly report on U.S. crude oil supplies ahead of tomorrow's official DoE report.

Brent crude, the global benchmark, was trading 2.5 per cent up at $58.60 a barrel last night as officials from the two countries began talks yesterday.

The market is closely watching US supplies, which analysts expect pulled back 3.3 million barrels in the latest week.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures were at $48.85 per barrel, up 33 cents, or 0.7 percent. On Friday, crude oil futures ended up $0.87, or 1.9%, at $47.96 a barrel, extending gains to a fifth successive session.

"Momentum is coming back into the market from very depressed price levels", Petromatrix strategist Olivier Jakob said.

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Crude prices have been buoyed by supply cuts from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries including top exporter Saudi Arabia, and allies including Russian Federation. The output cuts presented on behalf of OPEC and the partner states failed to get over this trend.

American crude stockpiles probably declined by 2.7 million barrels last week, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of analysts ahead of government data on Wednesday. "Maybe the pace of fluctuation was higher in the past weeks, but that is driven not only by market fundamentals; it's driven as well by geopolitics, trade wars, sanctions and many other things". -China trade tensions. The company's shares dropped 10 percent after the disclosure.

The escalating trade dispute between Washington and Beijing had hit prices in recent months because of fears that it could dampen global economic growth and result in a slowdown in oil demand.

Goldman Sachs said in a note 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".

Oil prices have ticked up again today as markets react to Opec's oil cuts and hopes of a thaw in US-China trade relations.

Societe Generale cut its 2019 oil price forecast for Brent by $9 to $64 a barrel and reduced its forecast for US light crude by $9 to $57 a barrel.

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