Oil prices up on U.S.-China trade talk optimism

Crude Oil

Brent crude futures were up by $1.08, or 1.88 percent, at $58.41 a barrel by 12:13 p.m. eastern time.

OPEC has already warned the demand for oil this year will see a lower demand by almost 1 million barrels a day. Last Thursday, all three major US stock indexes plunged by 2 percent after a dire revenue warning from Apple heightened fears of a global economic slowdown.

International Brent crude futures were at $57.77 per barrel at 0113 GMT, up 44 cents, or 0.8 percent from their last close.

"Momentum is coming back into the market from very depressed price levels", Petromatrix strategist Olivier Jakob said. While six months may be enough to reduce the combined output of OPEC and its partners by the agreed 1.2mn bpd, if USA production continues to grow at the current rate, it would likely offset this cut completely.

Global equity markets are entering the New Year in the doldrums and are spooking traders and investors alike, closely mirroring the decline in manufacturing growth in both the USA and China amid ongoing trade tensions.

"Although growth uncertainty will likely require strengthening physical oil markets to drive this rally, with encouraging evidence that the OPEC cuts are starting", the bank added.

Consultancy JBC Energy said it was likely that United States crude oil production was already "significantly above 12 million bpd" by early January.

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Rising optimism on a potential US-China trade deal continues to morph into extra oxygen for the risk-associated complex, in turn pushing prices of the American reference for the sweet light crude oil to fresh multi-day peaks in levels just shy of the $50.00 mark per barrel.

"Surely, there will be more twists and turns in the saga and increasing US tariffs on Chinese goods after March from 10 percent to 25 percent can not be excluded", Tamas Varga of PVM Oil Associates said. -China trade tensions. The company's shares dropped 10 percent after the disclosure.

Opec and sovereign producer allies outside the exporters' group led by Russian Federation agreed in December to cut production to the tune of 1.2 million barrels per day starting January for a period of six months. Though it will enjoy a portion of support from the lower oil prices, the comprehensive economic growth across the world may slow down significantly, resulting in tumbling market conditions.

As a result, United States crude oil production C-OUT-T-EIA rose by a whopping 2 million barrels per day (bpd) previous year to a world record 11.7 million bpd.

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".

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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